MCISD honors storied teaching careers

Posted 8/11/20

Madisonville CISD celebrated the lengthy careers of teachers Joyce Diserens and Linda Cousins at the district’s central office Aug. 4 with speeches delivered by members of the administration and honorees along with snacks and beverages.

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MCISD honors storied teaching careers

Posted

Madisonville CISD celebrated the lengthy careers of teachers Joyce Diserens and Linda Cousins at the district’s central office Aug. 4 with speeches delivered by members of the administration and honorees along with snacks and beverages.

Diserens and Cousins taught for a combined 105 years, with the vast majority coming at MCISD.

“I was the 21-year-old raw piece of clay that the MCISD administration and staff molded into the educator I became,” said Diserens. “What a treasure I would hold. It was not silver, gold or diamonds, but the minds of the students I would mold. Oh, what a valuable job I chose.”

Diserens spent 56 years in the teaching profession, most of which were spent as a first grade teacher at Madisonville Elementary.

“If I could paint a picture of my career at MCISD, I would paint myself as a teacher seated in the center of the frame, facing the viewer with a book on my lap titled, ‘My Career’,” said Diserens. “On the left side of me, I would place the 55 years worth of students that I introduced to the lifelong skill of reading. I am filled with pride as I remember hearing them exclaim, ‘I can read! I can really read!’

“On the right side of me, i would add my 57 student-teachers who are and will be enriching the teaching profession for years.”

Diserens also thanked all MCISD volunteers for their contributions to her time over the years and displayed a poster listing the teams of individuals who she would not have time to thank during her speech.

“As I heard the heart of this program beating, I knew the dream I had envisioned was a reality in my classroom,” said Diserens. “Now, I can sigh and think, ‘what a powerful investment my career has in the future.’”

Cousins spent 49 years in the teaching profession with most coming as a kindergarten teacher at MCISD. Previously, she taught at Faith Christian School in Madisonville.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to teach in Madisonville,” said Cousins. “As the Bible says in Colossians 3:23, whatever you do, do it heartedly for the Lord, and not for men. That is exactly what I have done. I have tried to let the Lord lead me in everything that I have done.

“People have said all the good things, but I have wanted to be able to please the Lord, not men. I appreciate each and everyone I have served with. I am looking forward to seeing all the things MCISD is going to do (in the future), because it is a great school district.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were a limited number of attendees at the ceremony. It was, however, streamed live through Facebook. There were also a number of people in attendance who spoke on behalf of Diserens and Cousins. These speakers included Superintendent Keith Smith, Elementary Principal Dr. Rhodena Brooks, Elementary Assistant Principal Prince Fite, kindergarten teacher Jessica Pasket, kindergarten teacher Linda Vinson, retired first grade teacher Linda Hunter and former school board member and volunteer in Diseren’s classroom, David Stiver.

“For myself and the administration, I can tell you what you meant to us,” said Superintendent Smith. “We respected you because you were professional and you were old school. You were so dedicated to perfecting your craft, even decades into it. That is so important because it is such an example for our teachers. You were their role models, you were their mentor teachers. For them to see your professionalism, and for them to see you trying to perfect your craft, even after 50 years, sets the type of examples we need in our business.

“What a lasting living legacy that will continue forever. Because of that legacy, and your service to our children, on behalf of our administration, our teachers and parents, all I can simply say is thank you. You have blessed thousands of lives. It has been an honor to serve you both as you have served our children so very well.”

The retirement ceremony for Diserens and Cousins can be viewed in full on the Madisonville Elementary Facebook page.

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