Teaching for over 20 years is an achievement in itself, but teaching in the same school is an outstanding honor. To honor these people, Potosi Schools recognize them in the “Potosi Chieftains Hall Of Fame.” It’s a special part of the school website you may have never noticed; even most candidates didn’t know it was there!
There are currently 49 staff members in the Hall of Fame, eight of whom are still working with students to this day. Some of these people include Millie Uppena and Debra Hutchcroft, both of whom started working here in 1999.
Deb Hutchcroft was hired 24 years ago for high school social studies, and the start of her career in Potosi could only be described as “insane.” Hutchcroft recalls that she was hired only a couple of weeks before the first day of school due to the previous teacher moving for family. She was spiraling at the time saying, “I now have to teach government, I haven’t had a government class for five years!” Hutchcroft was in a ‘mad dash’ to get things set and ready for her new students.
Over 24 years, the high school teacher’s teaching style has changed so much. “How I teach is so different now. I think my personality really mellowed. I would have students come in and sit down, give them information, go up until the bell rang and as it was ringing I would give out the class assignment.” It’s been a complete switch; Hutchcroft now focuses on giving in-class time to all students so they can ask questions about each assignment and she can help students one-on-one. “This is my second family,” Hutchcroft shared. “During the school year, I spend more time at school than at home. I refer to my students as my kids and people laugh at me outside of school saying, ‘You have one’ and I have to explain that they are truly my second family.”
On the other end of the building, Millie Uppena has worked in multiple different elementary grades. From 5th to 1st to 2nd and finally, to 3rd grade, this is the 15th class that she will see graduate she has taught. She recalls looking at the older teachers when she first started working here and said, “They’ve been here forever, how can they teach for that long?” But now, she still feels like she is in her 20s teaching and learning new things every day.
Uppena is just like Hutchcroft when she says that she has stayed here for so long because the students are, “just like family.”
“I go to graduation each year, and even when my own children aren’t graduating, I still cry because I remember how little those kids used to be.”
If you would like to take a look at this list, including current staff members and old faculty from as far back as 1955, follow these instructions:
Click on Menu
Under ‘District’ tap on the plus sign next to the option About Our District
Click the third option in the drop-down labeled ‘Potosi Hall Of Fame’