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Two GCHS teachers dust off their erasers and say goodbye

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By Camille McClanahan

Pat Conrad
Pat Conrad,  Family and Consumer Science teacher, started at Grant County High School shortly after she graduated from Eastern Kentucky University and has taught 29 years in Grant County.

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Over the years she has worked with six co-teachers in the department and six different principals. She has attended 28 teacher conferences and was responsible for starting the Veterans Day Program, along with coworker, Carolyn Horn. She has been an advisor to the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America chapter at GCHS for 29 years and last year she was named Grant County Educator of the Year.

Retiring was not a decision that she entered into lightly, but she believes the time is right.

“I had my years in, and my parents are getting older,” Conrad said. “I prayed about it and I just felt like it was time. I would like to travel and read books that I haven’t been able to read for years. I’ve always wanted to give more to my church, and I’ve always been at school too much to be able to do that.”

Conrad has one daughter, Liz Conrad, who is a student at the University of Kentucky. She lives with her husband Terry Conrad, on their farm, outside of Dry Ridge. She credits him with cooking many meals at home, serving as a judge to FCCLA Star events and serving as a chaperon on school trips.

As well as her family, she appreciates the support of many of her coworkers, including Anna Sullinger, Carisa Hughett and Carolyn Horn, she said.

“Pat Conrad is the best teacher I know,” Sullinger said. “She has taught me so much and has made me the teacher that I am today. She has worked tirelessly at Grant County High School to make sure her students have received the best instruction in her classroom. Pat will truly be missed in the halls of Grant County High School, but I am happy that she will be able to spend time with her family and friends.”

Though her work is done at school, she believes what she has taught her students will go with them for a lifetime.

Courtney Wilson was in two of Conrad’s classes, this past school year, where she learned about child and human development and relationships.

“I learned about caring for a child and the different stages of childhood,” Wilson said. “She’s got a passion for teaching, something a lot of teachers don’t have. I learned a lot of things about life.”

Wilson said that Conrad was understanding and easily related to all of her students.

“I’m really sad to see her go,” Wilson said.

Conrad believes that teaching individuals the principles of living with integrity and competency will impact entire families.

“I hope I’ve instilled life skills that they can take into their homes and use,” she said. “I know that a lot of people don’t think we’re academic, but, in family and consumer sciences, we are. I have had students tell me how they have used what they were taught. I hope they will be able to keep a budget, plan their meals and be there for their children.”

Kathy Bulmer
Kathy Bulmer taught math at Grant County High School and is retiring after 13 years in the district. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of California and her Masters of Education from Northern Kentucky University.

She and her husband Don spent some time as small business owners running Don’s Kitchen in Independence. Bulmer began her teaching career in California and moved to Kentucky in 1984. Before coming to Grant County in 1998, she taught at Holmes High School, Dixie Heights High School and Boone County High School.

Bulmer said that she has enjoyed her teaching career and although teaching is a serious business, having a good sense of humor has helped her through many trying times.

She enjoys recalling all of the funny comments her students made over the years and even kept her cool when a mouse built a nest in the middle drawer of her desk. She was so collected that her students didn’t even know they’d had a visitor in the classroom.

She has made the drive to Grant County from Florence, where she lives with her husband. They have two children and four grandchildren.

“My husband retired at the end of February and financially we were able to retire and we’d like to spend some time together,” Bulmer said. “We’re just going to enjoy being home and enjoy each other’s company.”

Bulmer said she has enjoyed her tenure at Grant County and will miss working with students and her coworkers.

Courtney Jaconette, now a senior, studied under Bulmer for two years. As a freshman, she was in Bulmer’s (honors) algebra II class and in her pre-calculus class in her junior year.

“She was very compassionate and she always did a good job at helping students with everything they struggled with,” Jaconette said.  “She kept the class rigorous and did a nice job of preparing us for higher education.”

Bulmer  said she hopes that she has touched the lives of her students and that when they look back, they will realize that she cared about them.

“I think I’ve really touched a lot of kids in a positive way,” Bulmer said. “I demanded a lot of them, but they usually come back and say, ‘thank you so much, because I know what I’m doing and no one else in my class does.’ It’s just something where I knew what they needed to be prepared for college, and I tried my best to prepare them.”