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home : education : schools November 24, 2015

6/25/2013 12:08:00 PM
Teacher calls it a career
David Hewitt found his calling teaching elementary school kids in Sisters. photo by Jim Cornelius
+ click to enlarge
David Hewitt found his calling teaching elementary school kids in Sisters. photo by Jim Cornelius

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

David Hewitt found his calling after moving to Bend to work in sales at Sears in 1980.

His daughter had just started elementary school, and Hewitt was a regular volunteer.

"By the time she got into first or second grade, that was the high point of my week - going in and helping at her school," he recalled. He loved walking down the halls, picking up on what he calls "kid energy."

"That might drive some people nuts, but I thought it was just great," he told The Nugget.

He wanted more of it; he wanted to make a living with it. So, he moved to LaGrande to get his teaching certificate. His first teaching gig was in Monument, in a district that hosted a total of 75 students. Then he moved on to the McKenzie School District in Blue River, where he taught until the crashing timber economy led to


He worked at a private school in Sunriver, applying for work in Bend and in Sisters.

"My wife had been an artist-in-residence out here, and she said, "If they call, you go to Sisters.' She was right."

Thus began a 16-year career at Sisters Elementary School. While he has fond memories of field trips and the rocket-launching program (which followed the fifth-graders out to Sisters Middle School) and of time spent with students and his beloved dog Wyeth, Hewitt's reflections turn to the day-to-day work of a teacher.

"The everyday occurrences in the classroom ... when the light would go on, when they'd been struggling with something and making mistakes and all of a sudden it clicked."

Hewitt had a transition year in 2012-13, where he taught only P.E. It was a nice way to wind down, once he'd decided to retire.

"I think I was just feeling I didn't have the energy I used to have to do it - and it takes a tremendous amount of energy," he said.

He plans to spend more time with his grandkids and is looking forward to a bit of travel.

"After the folk festival, we're going to take an adult field trip" to Wyoming and Colorado, he said.

Sisters will remain home.

Looking back, Hewitt is grateful for his students and his colleagues, and he says he feels that he learned as much as he taught.

"I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I wanted to do where I wanted to be," he said. "We had a lot of fun."

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