June 16th, 2012

Ode to a career with kids


Among a group of 13 individuals honored last week for their careers in the Anacortes School District was Cathy Pitts (right, with grandchild Fiona), who served many years as main office secretary at Island View Elementary School. She is pictured here with Betty Adams. Pitts wrote the following poem, which she shared at the district’s “retirement tea.”

As I leave you

It was 1989 when I started here
I had never worked in a school
I was friendly and quirky and lots of fun
But I definitely was not cool

Hundreds of children were everywhere
And you pay me to come here each day?
Their smiles touch my heart, tears tear me apart
May each one be happy, I pray

Children appeared and children departed
Most moved away or moved on
A special few left us for heaven too soon
My heart feels the pain that they’re gone

A school is for children to learn and to grow
In wisdom, in character, in art
We can do so much more for the ones in our care
When we use both our hands and our heart

Our Island View family, through rough times and smooth
Was always there, helping each one
Whether child, staff or family, no matter the need
We pitched in until it was done

If the need was for shoes, food or shelter
For clothing, art classes, a snack
A birthday, a Christmas, eye glasses, or sports
The Island View family gave back

The reports and the filing, the records, the mail
Were not all my job was about
‘I MADE A REAL DIFFERENCE EVERY DAY’
In the lives that I touched, I’ve no doubt

Now it’s my time to leave. It’s not easy, I know
To say good-bye to those so dear
Each one of you holds a place in my heart
And I’ll carry you with me, right here

Cathy Pitts, Island View Secretary, 1989-2012

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About Photographer Steve Berentson

A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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