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“Don’t say it unless you mean it !”   Kathleen Connell taught school for forty six years , never having to raise her voice at students , instead  talked to reason. Born in Beaver City , Nebraska, Kathleen was the oldest of four children with a stay at home mother and a father that worked for the railroad. She attended Chadron State College where she earned her teaching certificate and later returned to pursue a Masters degree in English and a Masters degree in History.

 For thirty years she taught at rural country schools where she followed students as they progressed through the grades.  Kathleen recalled a  middle school red-headed boy with freckles ,,

 who ran down the hall , knocking other students along the way. After taking him aside for a little chat ,she put her arm around his shoulder and asked him to please don’t run. Kathleen chuckled that the worst thing you could do to a middle school boy was give him a hug. Sure enough it worked , he amended his errant ways !

The last sixteen years Kathleen taught middle school here in Hot Springs.  English and history were her favorite subjects. She always “got along “with everyone and only gave advice when asked.

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Besides a teaching career, Kathleen was married to DeWayne Connell for sixty two years. He was a pilot and a photographer. Together they also maintained a couple of ranches, raising cattle. During the summer Kathleen worked in her garden and in the evening did a variety of hand work that included embroidery, leatherwork and lapidary .

Kathleen loved teaching and enjoyed her students very much. Now she shares her stories with her new friends at Pine Hills, She still practices her philosophy of “don’t say it unless you mean it “.

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