School librarian Bonnie Morris, a staple of the Minnehaha community, is retiring after over 35 years of educating the developing minds in the Upper School system.
As she prepares to leave her long-standing job as a mentor and guardian of knowledge, the Talon StaffÂ asked her for her final thoughts looking back on her career, and her vision of her own and Minnehaha’s future.
Talon: Why do you let kids call you Bonnie, while so many teachers would have kids call them Mr. or Mrs.?
Morris: It’s when I started posting Bookworm Bonnie that kids starting thinking it was fine.
I don’t care if kids call me Bonnie. There is no kid here afraid of me. I hope. I wouldn’t want anyone to be afraid of me.
Â Are you going to graduate with the seniors this year?
M: Yeah, I’ll have to march as well. I’ll come to next year’s graduation since my advisees graduate next year.
I’ll want to be there for that, but I won’t march then. I’ve marched 37 times in my life, but it’s been a really good place to work. The best. I’ve been very blessed.
Do you remember your original interview?
M: Yes, I was thinking I was going to be interviewed for elementary, though I did have a K-12 license. I thought it would be elementary, since that’s what I had done before.
I was interviewed by the high school principal, and I thought, ‘This is kinda weird.’
Then I got hired, and I started and I really liked it. You know, God was looking out for me because…Â two years later,Â I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I could have never handled elementary; it’s too physical.
Maybe for the first ten years but no way now. So I’m with high school, and I’m with kids that are so polite-
And so sleep deprived they can’t move?
M: Exactly! They don’t cause any big problems, and they’re really polite, nice kids that help me when I need help.
Will you miss having kids coming back to visit you?
M: I will miss that. I’ll miss them a lot. I’m Facebook friends with lots of them! I can be your Facebook friend too! I’ll give out my email to anyone that wants it.
We can keep in touch. It’ll be easy for you to remember it because it’s [email protected].
You’ve spent more than half your life working here?
M: I have, it’s going to be weird leaving. I mean the thing is, I’ve been in a school since I was five. I’ve been in school for 60 years.
Why now? Why not sooner or later?
M: Well, if I make it to 66, you get better social security. And my husband’s really antsy to go out and be traveling.
Have you ever wanted to leave before this year?
M: Yes, but my advisees have kept me here because they’re the best.
I don’t want to be like how my dad retired, and within a year he was dead. I don’t want that.
I have sewing to get done. I have a lot of other projects, books to read.
That’s going to be a terrible thing, when I don’t have the library, and I can’t just buy books with somebody else’s money!
Well, Bonnie, thank you for 35 years.
M: You’re welcome, it has been totally selfish, I have been spoiled. Don’t kid yourself, I loved every minute of it.
Well, you should if you’re going to stay that long. I really just have loved the kids here, and the people. It’s been the most perfect experience.
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The whole of the Minnehaha Academy will say a tearful farewell to Bonnie Morris as she leaves, but the memories she leaves behind will stay with the school forever. Thank you, Bonnie, for the memories.
Long live the Hobo Queen.