Francine Corsi, choral director at Burrell School District, never imagined that after her 38 ½-year career, her final lesson in the classroom would come so suddenly.
“It’s sad,” said Corsi. “I never thought that March 13th would be the last day I would see everyone.”
While Corsi had planned to retire this year, the school shutdown limited her chances to say goodbye to students and faculty.
During her time at Burrell, she’s worn many hats. She taught general music and instrumental lessons at the elementary and middle schools, as well as directed the elementary and sixth-grade choir. Currently, she’s the choral director for the district, overseeing the Stewart fourth- and fifth-grade choirs, the Huston Middle School choir, and the high school concert and show choirs.
“I have appreciated the opportunity to be the district Choral Director for the past six years,” said Corsi. “Though the schedule and requirements for this position can be daunting, I’ve enjoyed working with all the choirs, attending choral festivals, and directing the choirs for their concerts and community events.”
However, it is the obstacles of quarantine and online learning that have really challenged her as an educator during these last few months. In addition to learning a completely new method of online instruction, she’s also had to deal with not seeing her students again.
“It has been difficult emotionally for me, in the lack of closure, as I retire,” said Corsi. “We did not get to perform our final concerts. The students were on their way to creating memorable performances. I selected music for the concerts that were my way of saying ‘goodbye’ to my students.”
Still, Corsi does have her previous experiences to reflect on.
“Every concert created a fond memory,” Corsi said. “I hope I impacted the students by contributing to their learning experiences and to their development as musicians.”
While she’s hanging up life as a teacher, Corsi still has plenty of plans for life in retirement.
“I hope to have the opportunity to work more extensively in church music, as a director and musician,” Corsi said. “I also hope to travel when it is safe, and spend more time with my family, friends, and cats!”
Corsi may not have the chance for a final in-person farewell, but she still has a message for everyone she’s worked with over the years.
“I want to thank all of my students for their hard work and dedication and to the staff for their support and friendship,” Corsi said. “I appreciate and will miss all of you!”