When the last bell rings, signaling the end of the 2012-2013 school year Friday, June 14, summer vacation begins for the students of Howard County.
It also will signal a permanent vacation for the teachers and administrators who are retiring from the Howard County Public School System. According to schools spokeswoman Rebecca Amani-Dove, 196 educators are retiring this year.
While it's impossible to highlight the important work of each of those men and women, here you will find the stories of two men and a woman who have dedicated decades of their lives to the students of Howard County. There's a music teacher who taught countless children their first notes, a chemistry teacher who counted former students as co-workers and a first-grade teacher whose love of books is only rivaled by her love for her students.