VIROQUA, Wis. - One Viroqua third-grade teacher has spent nearly four decades teaching and mentoring elementary children.
Through that time, a lot has changed, but one thing that hasn't is the way she treats her kids.
It didn't take long for Cindy Turner to find her passion in life.
"It's always been a dream of mine since first grade to become a teacher," Turner said.
And for 38 years, Turner has called this place her home.
"Graduated in 1979, and started in Viroqua in August of 1979, and I've been here ever since,” Turner said. “All 38 years in the Viroqua district."
That connection to Viroqua has resulted in lifelong relationships with students and parents.
"I have students of students, or siblings of students, so I can make a lot of family connections," Turner said.
But for all those years of teaching, she hopes she's made a difference in every student that has walked through her doors.
"I'd like to think that every day, the students learn something, or come out of the day with something they didn't have when they came in,” Turner said.
"She's really nice, and she does a lot of really cool things with us," third-grade student Ava Hurda said.
"Typically someone who's been in teaching that long, tends to get in a rut maybe, but not Cindy,” Viroqua reading specialist Sarah Tunks said. “She is always looking for the newest and the latest and greatest just to connect with her kids."
But this June marks her final year, as Turner plans to retire.
"I have a lot of very, very good memories here," Turner said.
"I'm not sure what we're going to do without her next year,” Tunks said.
And her students are a little impressed with her lengthy career.
"I don't think I'll be able to do that,” 3rd grader Arriana Niemyjski said.
While she soon begins a new chapter, Turner is happy with how her story turned out.
"I've had a wonderful experience, but it's been my life,” Turner said.
Turner has actually taught fifth and fourth grades before she came to third grade.
She said in retirement, she plans to take vacations and spend time with her family.
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