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Teacher Celebrating 51 Years of Working at Westfield Washington Schools

Marcie Durbin Literacy Teacher
Posted at 6:48 PM, Aug 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-18 11:29:10-04

WESTFIELD — Doing anything for 51 years is a remarkable feat.

Being a teacher for 51 years, as the state grapples with a growing teacher shortage makes the feat much more rare.

In August 2022, the Indiana Department of Education had 2,500 jobs available. Now, that number’s just under 3,300, but Marcie Durbin’s now on her 51st year of teaching, at Westfield Washington School District.

Durbin is a literacy teacher at Oak Trace Elementary school. As a literacy teacher, she empowers students with reading abilities at an important early age.

While working in this job, the years jumped away from Durbin.

“Back in the day, you either wanted to be a teacher, or a nurse. I babysat a lot, and I loved little kids so, I thought teaching would be a good fit,” said Durbin.

It’s been a good fit alright, because she started in the district back when she was in school and student teaching.

“And then I got a job the next year and I’ve been here ever since,” said Durbin.

In her 51 years, the district has expanded from one elementary to six elementary schools. The best improvement in her opinion is the air conditioning and technology upgrades.

“We didn’t have the technology that we have now. We didn’t have carpet in classrooms. We only had one phone per building,” Durbin said. “And actually, I was the computer coordinator when they first came."

WRTV interviewed Durbin in 1992, about a $1 million investment in fiberoptic technology at the school district.

She said her favorite change was going from working as a standard classroom teacher, to becoming a literacy teacher.

“I love to see the kids light up. When they learn how to read, because mostly when I start with them, they’re not reading,” said Drubin.

Now she’s taught generations of families, at three elementary schools.

Jami Harris is Durbin's instructional assistant of fourteen years.

“Marcie was actually my second-grade teacher, and she has also had two of my three children," Harris said.

Durbin said she loves collaborating with her team.

"She never stops learning," Oak Trace Principal, Jane Hitch said. "You know after 50 years, you think she’d be done and checked out, but she’s not. She comes up and advocates for the children. If she knows somebody needs something, she will push us to do what’s best for those kids."

Her laugh is contagious and her reputation with kids and staff is legendary. Every birthday at Oak Trace, she pulls out her accordion and serenades the birthday person with a song.

“I just enjoy what I do. They (the students) keep you young,” Durbin said.

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