St. Charles teacher retires after 47 years

Teacher Rosalie Hauk with her kindergarten students at New Sarpy Elementary School.

Rosalie Hauk knew she wanted to be a teacher in third grade and 47-1/2 years later that is exactly what she did.

“You definitely have to love your job, which I always have,” Hauk said. “And I loved working for the parish and loved my principals, and you have to love kids – that’s the biggest thing.”

Hauk’s retirement is effective Dec. 20 at New Sarpy Elementary School.

“I actually have to say I just loved my job every year,” she said. “I loved the summertime, but always looked forward to going back in the fall. I just loved my job.”

Hauk’s passion reflected in her students, including this year’s District Elementary Student of the Year Cecilia Cody who praised her kindergarten teacher’s influence on her success.

Admittedly, though, she said there were times she wondered if some of her youngsters would do well at first, but that changed.

“I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, we’ll have a way to go,’” the teacher said. “Then, it just seems the light bulb comes on – and that happens quite often.”

Her passion for teaching ran deep at an early age.

“I knew I wanted to be a teacher,” Hauk said. “I couldn’t tell you why, but I did.”

Hauk said she just liked school.

As a student in Wisconsin, she got her degree there, but why she came to Louisiana is just as interesting.

“My girlfriend has a brother here and we came for spring break,” she said.

They both stayed in the area.

Hauk finished college in Wisconsin and got her master’s degree at Nicholls State University.

“I just thought the people were so friendly and there was the weather, “ Hauk said. “I lived in northern Wisconsin on Lake Superior where there’s a lot of below-zero in the winter.”

She began teaching in 1970, becoming a kindergarten teacher in St. Charles Parish in 1973.

Hauk said academic expectations for students have changed.

Initially, she described instruction time as minimal with a lot of play and “a lot of social.” They were mainly expected to know their ABCs and how to write their names. Today’s kindergartners must write paragraphs and read books, and technology is a big part of the curriculum.

Hauk said technology is required to “keep up with the times” although she believes it has cut into social time. She added, “I think the kids know a lot of technology, but don’t always know the nursery rhymes and things.

“We work on number sense, meaning an understanding of numbers and problem solving in math,” she continued. “It always was a full day, but it’s pretty structured.”

Hauk described her career as rewarding and feels fortunate she was able to live her dream.

“The only reason I‘m leaving now is I have a new grand baby,” Hauk said. “I always said they’d have to wheel me out.”

Historical moments in 1970

  • Jackson 5 debut on American Bandstand.
  • U.S. lowers voting age from 21 to 18.
  • Apollo 13 launched to the Moon, but unable to land and returns in six days.
  • Tom Dempsey of New Orleans Saints kicks NFL record 63-yard field goal.
  • Environmental Protection Agency begins in the U.S.
  • Scientist and inventor Edwin Land patents the Polaroid camera.
  • Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” debuts on LA radio.
  • U.S. performs nuclear tests at Nevada test site.
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