Vol 5 No. 36 - May 25, 2005
She's leaving a ‘giant hole in
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH Her
passion for life is contagious. She moved
to the Island more than 10 years ago and
when she leaves the Island this summer for
North Carolina, she will have touched more
than a thousand lives.
Lynn Drolet sent a note to the parents of
her first-grade students at Anna Maria Elementary
School last Wednesday telling them that
she had taken a position as writer and editor
at The Education Center in Greensboro, N.
C. She will be working on teacher-related
publications such as The Mailbox, Teacher's
Helper and "Bookbag.
Drolet has been
a teacher at AME since 1995, shortly after she
moved to the Island without a job. She met with
former principal James Kronus and left him a resume.
After settling into a new home, her neighbor,
Ella Wickersham, told her to talk with him again.
"They had an overflow of students that year
and needed another teacher," she said. "I
got the job expecting I would leave if they didn't
need me the next year, but I have been there ever
Her method of teaching is one of enthusiasm, always
thinking of ways to spark curiosity in her students
and propelling them to find answers. From listening
to stories in their pajamas to learning fractions
while cutting up pizzas, students have had fun
while they learned. She said she would miss that
interaction with students.
"That is the hardest hurdle I will have to
overcome in my new job," she said. "I
won't be able to watch them grow and watch them
light up. I will miss the contact with the kids
and I love them."
There will be a farewell party for her at St.
Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive,
Holmes Beach, on Sunday, June 12, from 2 to 5
p.m. She said she hopes to take more than memories
with her to North Carolina.
"I will have an office at home in addition
to the one at my job," she said. "I
would love it if parents and students from all
the years I have taught could give me pictures
and notes of what they learned and what they enjoyed
in my class so I could hang them on a wall in
that office. I would be able to remember the connection
I enjoyed with everyone."
That connection brought her recognition on a national
level. She is named in "Who's Who Among American
Teachers" this year and she was nominated
twice for the Disney Teacher of the Year award,
once by a former student and the second time by
a group of students and parents. She was also
the 2003 Teacher of the Year in the Anna Maria
Island Sun's Reader's Choice Awards and Teacher
of the Year at AME in 1999, chosen by the staff
In addition to her work at the school, she stayed
busy at St. Bernard Church as a Lector Eucharistic
Minister, teaching second grade penance and First
Holy Communion. She also volunteered for the Anna
Maria Island Community Center on its last four
Affaire to Remember fund-raisers and taught volleyball
at Manatee High School in 1998. She also taught
aerobics at Island Fitness Center.
"When some people leave the community, hardly
anyone notices, but when others leave, they leave
a giant hole in our lives," said Joy Murphy,
a PTO member and home room mom at the school and
a member of St. Bernard Church. "She is so
giving and dynamic and she makes good things happen."
Murphy said she and other moms were discussing
how many lives Drolet has touched and the number
was more than a thousand.
"When she came to the community, she made
it her own," said Murphy.
Beach Bistro owner Sean Murphy's two children,
Alexandra and Benjamin, were students with her
and he said she was a favorite of both. Murphy
read "The Night Before Christmas" to
her classes for many years during the week before
Christmas and Drolet worked part-time for him
at Bistro at Island's End.
"She was a great employee," he said.
"There was laughter wherever she worked.
I will miss her as an employee and as a friend."
And no story about Drolet would be complete without
mentioning the frogs. She said that when she started
at AME, the grounds out back were full of frogs,
and she liked the sound of them. Over the years
they have become her own personal mascot. So much
so, that her students and friends have bought
her tons of them. Stuffed-animal frogs, ceramic
frogs, glass frogs, you name it. Drolet will be
taking more than 400 of the critters with her
when she leaves.
Shell also be taking a little piece of more
than a thousand Island hearts.
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