“Don’t leave. I need to get my work done!” said one student when they heard their favorite teacher was retiring.
The Edmonds (Wash.) Church fellowship room was packed the first Sunday of May 2018 with former and current students and colleagues (including two of her very first students) to honor the retirement of Dea Beinhoff, who is retiring after 44 years of teaching lower grades and being a principal for four years at Cypress Adventist School.
“In today’s education landscape, it is unprecedented to see an Adventist teacher stay in a single position for their entire career,” says Craig Mattson, Washington Conference vice president for education. “Dea’s 44-year term of service represents a distinguished ministry that has touched thousands of lives.”
"My daughter was in her class for years," says Danica Wright, former colleague. "She was wonderful, kind, warm, and she had a good balance of structure and fun in her classroom. I'm glad my kids had the chance to get her as a teacher."
Parents, colleagues and students expressed their appreciation for Beinhoff’s dedication to education, and many remembered her for her organization, structure and dedication to teaching the importance of responsibility during the end of the retirement celebration.
“We taught together, and she was a tremendous help,” says Marilyn Jordan, former colleague. “To be a teacher who received students from her classroom was a blessing. They were prepared.”
“It didn’t take me long to see what a quality primary teacher we had,” says Lowell Dunston, former colleague and retired principal. “The students had a foundational education. They could read, write, work as a team and more. I learned to appreciate her for the solid work she had done.”
“Dea has done a work for you and your children that will last generations,” says Robert McDonald, former principal at Cypress, whose daughter and granddaughter were in Beinhoff’s classroom. “When you make a difference in a child’s life, it is eternal. She is a teacher, through and through.”
“I am inspired by the young people in my classroom. I wanted to make a difference in their lives by helping them obtain the basic skills and values that will enable them to become lifelong learners,” says Beinhoff. “I appreciated the opportunity of being able to do this in a Christian environment where my values and relationship with the Lord could be shared with my students.”