Editor's note: This is another in a series of stories on retiring teachers in East Contra Costa. Andria Edwards and Sue Lindscheid spent a combined 72 years in the Antioch school district. They retire this month.
Some 36 years ago, Sue Lindscheid started her career at Mission Elementary School -- and never left.
But that all changes this week when she retires.
She hit the Antioch campus teaching second grade, and in her time there has also taught kindergarten, first, third and sixth grades. She leaves as a fifth-grade instructor.
After receiving her degree from Chico State, she decided to pursue a teaching credential to "make a difference in this world and to work with children. I feel very strongly that children are the key to our future. I also love seeing the world through a child's eyes."
Over the years, she has collected countless warm memories, including when former students stop by Mission to say hello and share news of graduations, marriage and even starting families.
"I have had several students whose parents I have also taught."
Another heartfelt memory took place when a late incoming student presented some challenges. "(We) developed a terrific relationship. On the last day of school, we had a party. At the end of the day, it was obvious (he) was not in any hurry to go home, hanging out and helping clean up. He asked if he could take a liter of soda home."
Several months later, Lindscheid ran into the boy's older sister and was told the unopened bottle was like a "cherished possession" to the young boy. Sadly, that student lost his life at 18. "The memory is bittersweet."
Many will miss Lindscheid's affectionate presence on campus.
Principal Monte Gregg said: "Sue has genuinely been a compassionate, warm and inviting teacher and friend to (all). It is no surprise that her colleagues think of her first when they need a friendly ear or to commiserate about some incident. She is always willing to share, never for one moment lost her love of teaching, and inspired countless children into their future. She will be greatly missed."
Colleague Christie Steiner will also miss Lindscheid.
"Sue is a close friend and one of the most caring and compassionate people I know. We have worked on the same grade level, and next door to each other, for eight years. She is a person who sees the good in everyone. Sue is Mission's 'Welcome Wagon,' as she is always one of the first people to introduce herself to new teachers and make them feel at home.
Once school is out, Lindscheid plans to spend more time with family and a do little traveling. And she will return to Mission as a volunteer, which will help ease the ache of "missing the daily interaction with the children and pulling into the same Mission School parking lot every morning."
"This school has really become a part of who I am. I feel so very blessed to have had such a wonderful career in teaching."