Belshe Retirement Story: The End of an Era

Hope Moore, Assignment Editor

As the school year comes to an end, so does Susan Belshe’s last year of teaching. After an exciting 45 years of teaching it’s time for a drastic change.

Belshe has taught for 45 years starting at Mesa Vo-Tech, going to EVIT, and finally to Combs. However before teaching Belshe was working as a nurse and a horrible accident solidified her decision to teach. 

“As fate would have it I was in a terrible car accident and I was teaching RN students at Pima Medical Institute but I could no longer stand for the 12 hours it took to do a shift,” Belshe said, “Luckily this position opened and it was perfect. It was perfect for me to write the program and develop all of the learning labs and use modern teacher; it has been a joy.”

With tears welling in her eyes Belshe tells about how sad she is to be leaving for good.

“[I will miss] Seeing the students learn and progress. I love seeing the students work in the medical field because it’s so exciting, I love the excitement of helping students reach their goals,” Belshe said, “I also think the comradery you have with teachers and administrators and district personnel builds a family, and it feels like you come to work, not as work. It really is enjoyable and a nice environment.”

While Belshe has bittersweet feelings about her decision to retire she has big plans for the future.

“I am going to travel and visit my family back east and maybe do some volunteer work to stay active.”

For students who are going into the second year of the Medical Professions Program, it may be exciting to hear that Belshe has thoughts of becoming a substitute teacher and coming back to assist with the program.

“I could possibly get my substitute teaching certificate and that would be a possibility where I might come back and help if the teacher is out sick. It lets me feel connected and lets me feel like I’m still part of a very important system,” Belshe said.

The Medical Professions program was created entirely by Belshe herself and while she is saddened to leave it, she is excited for who comes in next. She is confident in the school’s ability to choose someone amazing to feel her spot.

In the meantime Belshe continues to work hard in preparing her students for the end of the year excitement and stress. 

“I plan to get all my students ready for their nursing assistant exams, they will be starting clinical training at the nursing home, so getting all their education in place is important and top priority,” Belshe said.

Belshe is proud of her program and all of the students who go through it. She looks forward to seeing them succeed and grow; and she is happiest when she sees her students becoming everything they’ve wanted to be.

“It has been a dream come true, teaching a student, isn’t just teaching a student, it’s teaching a young professional who is going to touch many people’s lives. I think about all the people who are going to benefit from the wonderful things the students have learned, and that just makes my heart happy,” Belshe said.