BATAVIA – For as long as there has been H.C. Storm Elementary School, Kathy Hubbard has been teaching there.
The second-grade teacher has been at H.C. Storm School since the school opened in 1978. As she gets ready to retire, the school Wednesday recognized Hubbard for her efforts.
“Her classroom really became a learning laboratory,” Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said, before unveiling a sign that has been installed in front of the school in her name – Hubbard Circle. “She has made the world a grander place.”
Hubbard was overcome with emotion.
“I’ve never been speechless before, but right now, I think I almost am,” Hubbard said. “I will miss Storm School. It will always be in my heart.”
Her 36-year tenure with Batavia School District 101 puts her in an “elite” group in the district, Schielke said.
“There aren’t many others that have served as long,” he said. “Grace McWayne was a Batavia teacher for 59 years. I think that is a record that will never be broken.”
Hubbard said she wanted to be a second-grade teacher since she was 7 years old.
“My second-grade teacher was such a major role model for me,” Hubbard said. “I wanted to be just like her. You always hope that you will have an impact in children’s lives.”
One of the biggest things she has tried to do for her students is to instill in them a sense of self-worth.
“I want to make sure they can be the best they can be,” Hubbard said.
Schielke also honored retiring music teacher Roxanne Semonchik, who is leaving H.C. Storm School after almost 20 years of service. Schielke proclaimed the day “Roxanne Semonchik Day.”
Fittingly, the school’s fourth- and fifth-grade chorus sang “Go With A Song In Your Heart” to Semonchik, who has sung the song every year to graduating fifth-graders.
“I’m emotionally drained here,” Semonchik said after the song. “It’s the sweetest rendition that I’ve ever heard. This place has been my home for 20 years. It is a second family to me.”