Mrs. Larkin Retires after 37 Years in Education

Mrs. Larkin’s journey to become a teacher first began when she played school with her friends in the neighborhood.

“As a child, I thought being a teacher would be the best job ever!” Mrs. Larkin said.

Before entering her first real classroom, Mrs. Larkin prepared pizzas at Taliano’s Restaurant, sold men’s clothing at Sears, and hawked hamburgers at McDonald’s. After graduating from The University of Central Arkansas, Mrs. Larkin received an offer for her first official teaching job. It was 1982 and cell phones had not yet been invented, so the call came to her manager at McDonald’s.

“The manager called me to the phone where I was offered my dream job — teaching high school in Charleston, AR,” Mrs. Larkin said. “Little did I realize that those eight years would change my life.”

During those eight years of teaching English and coaching cheerleading, Mrs. Larkin forged friendships that continue to this day.

“It was during those eight years that I met my husband, Keith,” Mrs. Larkin said.

After Charleston, Mrs. Larkin taught third grade at the Rogers Center Day School here in Fort Smith for two years.

“I loved teaching there,” Mrs. Larkin said.

Mrs. Larkin’s next move was in 1990 here where she first worked for Principal Dan Roberts.

“My heart has belonged to Kimmons for the past 29 years,” Mrs. Larkin said. “Many leaders have come and gone, and those within the walls have often used the word ‘family’ to describe the feeling we have with each other.”

Most of Mrs. Larkin’s years at Kimmons have been spent working as a co-teacher within the English Department, including fifteen years with Mrs. Springs.

“Mrs. Springs, Ms. Putman, Mrs. Beasley, and Ms. Pauline have been among my dearest friends who I trust with my deepest secrets,” Mrs. Larkin said. “When I think of my family, these ladies, plus others, qualify to be members of my family.”

Throughout her 37 years of teaching, Mrs. Larkin has experienced many changes, such as students transitioning from paper and pencil to computers. After completing one of FSPS’s first technology academies, Mrs. Larkin received a class set of Palm Pilots.

“I thought we would change the world having the students do their work on them,” Mrs. Larkin said.

A couple of years later, Mrs. Larkin received a class set of laptops. This was well before every student had his/her own laptop.

“Through technology, I was able to help prepare my students for a chance at a better future,” Mrs. Larkin said.

A huge challenge for Mrs. Larkin began in 2017. This private person revealed that she has been struggling with severe health issues, which led to her decision to retire from her dream job of teaching.

“My hope is that the teachers and students of my Kimmons family continue to challenge and believe in themselves, doing things they never thought they would be able to do,” Mrs. Larkin said. “A bonus that teaching has brought me from these many years has been shared stories of successes gained from now-grown students, plus their parents and even grandparents. As I continue to work towards improving my health, I want to say thank you for allowing me to live my dream job of teaching. I will be a Kimmons Raider for life!”