Her voice is clear, it’s quiet and has a calming quality to it.
Everything you would expect from an elementary teacher.
She is Sheryl Posey and by tomorrow, she will no longer be the music teacher at Colonial Heights Elementary.
There’s something a little sad about that as the school will be losing a fixture, but her plans for the future are exciting enough to make you wonder why she hasn’t already made a final run through Colonial’s double doors.
Her future has expectations of time with the grandchildren, watching her son’s soccer games (he is a soccer coach at Wayland Baptist University) and she is going to build a house with her husband near the sand and surf of Port Aransas.
A picture perfect retirement.
The past? It’s a little fuzzy for Mrs. Posey and the future is a little more concrete. Her teaching career started at home…literally as she homeschooled her four children.
“For no money,” she said and then laughed.
She grew up locally and is a product of the Brownfield educational system. And she’s proud of that. Shortly after graduating high school, Mrs. Posey attended and graduated Wayland Baptist University in Plainview.
She married in college and then taught one semester as a middle school English and Social Studies teacher. She then homeschooled her kiddos and came back to the classroom in 2001 when she was hired by Fred Cawthon to teach the fourth grade. The next year BISD reinstituted the music program and she’s been teaching music since.
Mrs. Posey did leave Brownfield for about twenty years in the mix of all of that. She moved with her husband to New Mexico as well as Colorado. He was a carpenter and then became a bible teacher when they returned. Mrs. Posey, on the other hand, returned home to take care of her parents who recently passed away.
When she isn’t teaching music, Mrs. Posey is performing music at a local retirement home and she’s been doing that since 1987. That will end as well. Her listeners are lonely, she said, and her music makes them feel better. She has always felt that was her ministry.
Her most requested song at the retirement center? That would be the hymn “I’ll Fly Away.”
Her favorite? That would be “My Jesus, I love Thee.”
“My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.”
And her teaching method does have a lot to do with both forgiveness and patience. No matter what has happened with a child, forget it and move on. It never happened.
“The wisdom that I’ve gained through the years is that regardless the trouble a kid gives you, every day is fresh start,” she said leaning in with confidence. “The next time you see the child in the hall, it’s like you have to pretend you didn’t have the issue. They deal with things that I can only imagine. God gives you a million second chances, and I just think they deserve that.”
She’s seen Brownfield grow and struggle through the fluctuations of the oilfield and she’s seen the successes. And with her students, she believes everyone is a success if they survive, if they graduate and if they go on to grasp a dream or two before they move on.
Mrs. Posey blushed a little as Colonial Heights Principal Dana Ketchersid sang her praises.
“There aren’t enough words to describe the job that Mrs. Posey does at this campus,” said Ketchersid. “She teaches the kids music and she makes it memorable for them. She not only teaches music, she integrates everything she teaches. They learn Social Studies and Science. Not only that, but she teaches them manners as they come in and out of the door. Her instruction is what I call bell to bell. She’s teaching the minute they come in the room and until the minute they leave.”
“You are so sweet,” Mrs. Posey whispered.