Chamber honors long-serving teachers

FAIRMONT – For the past 25 years, a trio of Fairmont teachers has been instructing, mentoring and encouraging Fairmont elementary students.

Cindy Huset, Doris Mancell and Dr. Rochelle Franzen were honored Tuesday at the annual Teacher Recognition Banquet, sponsored by Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce.

The three came from various backgrounds when they joined the ranks of elementary teachers in the Fairmont Public Schools in 1988.

Cindy Huset taught at the elementary level at Granada-Huntley-East Chain before joining Fairmont’s team of educators. After a single year teaching fourth grade at Lincoln School, she moved to William Budd School, where she taught junior first grade and first grade, eventually becoming a kindergarten teacher.

Longevity in teaching is hereditary in her family.

“My mom taught for 42 years,” Huset said.

Doris Mancell taught and coached in a California district where some of her students arrived at school in limousines. During her initial year in Fairmont, she taught third grade, then moved to the fifth-grade level where she has remained.

“The kids in Fairmont are awesome,” she said. “The parents are awesome.”

Mancell’s advice to Fairmont’s new teachers, also honored at the banquet, was simple:?”You’ve just got to love those kids,” she said.

Dr. Rochelle Franzen echoed her sentiments.

“Above all, love the children,” Franzen said. “Learn from your colleagues. Learn from your students.”

Franzen was on the staff for three years at St. Paul Lutheran School in Fairmont before joining the public school instructors in 1988. She taught third, fourth and sixth grades initially, but has been a fifth-grade teacher for the past 22 years.

In 1999, she earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Dakota, thinking she might want to teach at the college level, but the potential of younger students keeps her here.

“I love the sparks that come at the elementary level, just digging into the kids’ potential,” Franzen said.