Dedicated Teacher Recognized at Retirement Ceremony in Milo 

A teacher in Milo was recognized today for all the years he has dedicated to educating others.A serious endeavor indeed.But as Meghan Hayward tells us today there were plenty of laughs at his expense. “Declare June 16, 2009 Walter Oakes day.””Because he just thought he was going to retire and just quietly go away, and it’s been one party and thing after another.”MSAD 41 Staff made sure Mister Oakes’ retirement would not be a quiet one.At Tuesday’s ceremony they took a trip back in time with photos and even serenaded Walter who sometimes goes by his middle name Eddie. “Eddie your leaving.”Walter has been teaching for fifty years, with 47 of those years being within MSAD 41.Penquis Valley High School principal Scott Gordon says there’s a uniqueness to Walter.”First of all his longevity. He’s been here for 50 years and that in itself is something unusual for an educator in Maine.”Gordon says even after teaching all those years Walter’s sense of humor is still intact.”He emails the staff…you might be a redneck if and the response varies from day to day and that’s his thing. His way of spreading humor.”At Tuesday’s ceremony several staff members dressed in flannel shirts in honor of those redneck jokes.But what is the next step for Walter Eddie Oakes?”Well they tell me I’m at the top of the substitute list. Can’t really break clean I guess.”His wife Nancy says she has plenty of things for him to do.She says his chores have slipped over the years.But she admires his dedication to the school and his students.”He’s never missed a day of school. And I say you have 395 sick days let’s go to Bangor and he would never think of doing something like that.”There is one thing Nancy thinks he will enjoy about retirement.”I’m a walker and I get up at 6 or 7 and he says not to bother him until 8.”A man whose been waking up early and going to school for 67 years and left an impression on so many.