After 42 years of teaching first grade, Ms. Debra Polselli is saying farewell to the Espirito Santo School in Fall River.

When Ms. Polselli first walked through the doors of the school back in 1981, she recalls being nervous for the first time. "When I walked in on my first day, I was taking over someone's maternity leave, and was only supposed to be short term, but she never went back," Polselli said,  "I'm so blessed because of that. I love teaching, but you know, I'm getting old."

All together, Polselli taught for 46 years in her teaching career, with a majority of her time spent at Espirito Santo.

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"I have so many fond memories and I would have never stayed at this school if it didn't mean anything to me," Polselli said, "It's (Espirito Santo) such a family community where everyone is so supportive of each other. I think of all the students I've had throughout the years and I hope and pray I did my best for them."

There's been a lot of changes throughout the years, but the biggest for Polselli was the advancement of technology within the classrooms.

"I'm old school, so it was difficult for me, but I had a lot of help and support from Mr. Raposo and my students," Polselli said, "The kids today are a lot more active and to keep their attention, you have to be more creative."

Polselli had a tearful moment on Thursday, June 15th, during her final morning, but admits she'll be back to help with the children's choir and help out if needed with after-school programs. Espirito Santo school has been another family to her, and you "just don't step out on your family".

"It'll be nice to not have any paperwork or lesson plans or correcting," Polselli joked.

As far as her plans for retirement go, she comments that she hasn't thought that far ahead just yet and plans on living her life one day at a time.

"Most of my siblings are retired and I've been jealous they got to go to breakfast in the morning, so now I can join."

Even during the summertime, when most teachers have the school break off, Polselli never had summers off until the age of 65. As a bonus and a bittersweet ending, Polselli was happy to find out that the teacher who will be taking her place is a former student of hers.

We wish Ms. Polselli nothing but the best in the next days to come knowing that her hard work over the last four decades shaping and molding the minds of the future has and will pay off in the end.

Best of luck, Ms. Polselli!

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