Editor’s Note: This story first published on Nov. 7, 2019.
President Jimmy Carter was in the last year of his presidency when Barbara Riemer started her teaching career in Hamilton Schools.
It was 1980, but years earlier – when she was 12 years old – Riemer realized the front of the classroom was where she wanted to spend her career.
And now the 62-year-old, fifth-grade teacher at Crawford Woods Elementary shows no signs of slowing down in her 39th year, having earned the title of Hamilton Schools’ longest-employed instructor.
“I keep doing this because I’m truly having fun,” said Riemer. “I do it because it’s a joy. I enjoy this stuff.”
Words are very important to Riemer, who said her own life was positively shaped by the encouraging words of a summer school teacher in her childhood neighborhood who described her as natural-born teacher.
“Words can change destinies,” said Riemer.
One of the joys of teaching longevity in the same community is “I have had kids of other kids I taught years ago.”
“Some of the former students come in and say I want you to be as hard on this one (their child) as you were on me,” she says chuckling.
A 2015 Hamilton Educator Of The Year finalist, is a homegrown hero in the district, having been raised in the Butler County city and graduating from the former Hamilton Taft High School.
She has spent her 39 years in the city schools working in the East Hamilton community and calls it her second home.
Crawford Woods Elementary Principal Aaron Hopkins is glad Riemer stayed in the city school system.
“Barb Riemer is one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Hopkins.
“Her experience and knowledge are an asset to the staff and students at Crawford Woods and she continues to learn new practices and implements them in her classroom,” he said, adding “Mrs. Riemer is a fantastic teammate, mentor and teacher.”
Riemer’s advice for rookie teachers?
“If you are only thinking about retirement, this isn’t the job for you. You have to care about the kids and they can tell genuine care,” she said.
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