Retiring All Saints Catholic School teacher taught kids like they were her own

LEWISTON, ID - For kids all over the valley, school is adjourning for the summer, which means more than two months off from the daily grind.

But for a longtime teacher at All Saints Catholic Church, school is out for good.

A great teacher inspires hope, lights the imagination, and instills the love of learning into each and every student. And teacher Lorene Uptmor has done just that year after year, decade after decade.

"I've been here long enough to teach some grandparents, parents and now their children," said Uptmor. "To see the continuity of the faith and family as it works down through God's plan. It's just phenomenal. I've never regretted it. It has been, a wonderful, wonderful experience."

An experience filled with equality, love, and encouragement.

"I would teach them as my own children, the next thing is to be as fair as possible," said Uptmor. "And I guess the number one thing is to love them, love them for who they are. Praise their gift and encourage them."

Lorene started out as a first grade teacher in Cottonwood back in the 70's. Two years later she got a job at All Saints Catholic School, which is where she found her calling as a fifth grade teacher.

"She like helps us with problems if were struggling," said Fifth Grader, John.

"She's a good reader and she's nice," said Fifth Grader, Tellie.

"Sometime she's happy and then the other side she's strict, but that's a good strict," said Fifth Grader, Sydney. "Like so she can get us in line. Some teachers don't have that. So I think I'll miss that a little bit."

Thursday will be Lorene's last day as a full time teacher.

"I always told myself that when I didn't have the energy to do a top hob to do the job the way I wanted it done, then it was time," said Uptmor.

42 years in the books with an average class size of 25, that's more than 1,000 futures this one teacher has influenced . So finding a former student wasn't hard at all.

So when did you go to school and what do you remember most about Lorene?

"Well I had her back in the sixth grade back in the 70's," said Former Student, Keith Havens. "Yeah long time ago. And I just remember she wanted every student to work hard and be something, be responsible and live to the full potential."

And while she looks forward to retirement, she's not leaving completely, with plans to substitute teach in her spare time.

"When they can make and feel that they themselves are worth while that's what I look for," said Uptmor. "Can I make that positive difference."

"Have a great retirement and thank you for helping me be the person I am today," said Havens.

A retirement party will be held in her honor Thursday (today) from 11:15 to 1:00. It'll be at the parish center at St. Stanislaus Church.