Super Senior: Sally Lawyer

Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 4:52 PM EDT
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ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) - Everyone has that certain teacher you’ll remember forever. At Saint Albans City School, there’s a good chance it’s Miss Sally Lawyer.

Lawyer has taught 1,400 students in her career. And on this last day of school, she’s sending the kindergarten class of 2023 on its way. B-19, her classroom for over four decades, is buzzing.

“This is my school family,” said student Ella Abair.

Family like Lyla Rouleau, Lawyer’s great niece, who’s graduating from high school. “Sally meant a lot to me,” Lyla said.

Assistant Principal Stacie Rouleau is Lyla’s mom. “She’s taught me so many things about taking care of kids and families...” Rouleau said.

Lawyer’s friend, Sarah Brooks, is a substitute at the school. “She loves you. The second you walk into her classroom, you are hers and hers forever. And I’m still hers,” Brooks said.

All the women have one thing in common -- Miss Lawyer was their teacher. “It’s very emotional. I sat on that same carpet. It was the same setup as it is now,” Rouleau said. “And over the years, she honestly is what inspired me to to go to college and become a teacher.”

“When I walk these halls, it just makes me feel peaceful. I feel like I’m home,” Lawyer said.

After 45 years of teaching, this is her last full day. “My heart is full. I’ve had so many people come and wish me well,” Lawyer said.

Signing yearbooks is a yearly ritual, and in Miss Lawyer’s class, the connections can go back generations.

Reporter Joe Carroll: What do you think of Miss Lawyer?

Ella Abair: Funny... She makes me laugh.

Even Abair’s dad sat in Lawyer’s classroom.

It’s a bittersweet time for the 70-year-old. “I think it’s kind of like being on an amusement park. You get on a ride and you keep going and you keep going and you wish it was longer, but it does eventually come to and end,” Lawyer said.

“It’s really sad, but I’m happy I got her,” Rouleau said.

“Goodbye, goodbye, see you again... goodbye, goodbye, see you my friend,” Lawyer says to her students present and past.

Lawyer never had kids of her own, but for generations of students, Lawyer is family.