Joan and Harry Thornhill are both retired teachers from the Shenendehowa Central School District in Saratoga County. Rather than head to Florida to spend their golden years, they decided it was more important to stay in New York and fight back against the assault on public education they say has been taking place the last several years.
“We care deeply about what’s happening. We have grandchildren in school,” said Joan Thornhill. “It’s disgusting to see what’s happening to education today, especially since we’ve been out” the last decade.
The Thornhills said back when they were in the classroom, “we were allowed to teach.”
Harry Thornhill spent time in the Peace Corps a half-century ago, serving in Africa, Indonesia and China. And, he incorporated that experience into the curriculum he used in his classroom.
“I was emphasizing to my students what a big, wonderful world was out there,” he said. “How could [teachers] ever use that in the classroom today with state tests?”
“We were allowed to be creative in our curriculum,” said Joan Thornhill. “It wasn’t a job then. People weren’t looking to get out. Back then it was a vocation. It never felt like the job it feels like today.”