WICHITA FALLS - Texoma is losing an educator of 49- years to a much deserved retirement, a person former students say impacted everyone she's come in contact with.
We spoke to one of Rosie Flanigan's former students at the Texoma Alternative Center. He told us, Flanigan would not only help people during school hours, but after as well. She would even take kids home after school and help them with food and clothes if they needed it.
"When I first started I made $5,225 a year," Flanigan said.
In 1968, Flanigan began her teaching career in Wichita Falls as a math teacher at Hirschi High School. And for 49 years, she's shaped young lives while gaining much wisdom along the way.
"I had to learn that I'm not God and I'm not going to save everybody, but make the best impact on those kids that you can," said Flanigan. "Do the best you can."
In her 30 years in the WFISD, Flanigan taught math at Hirschi, Barwise, and Zundy. She was the Dean of Students at Hirschi and then became the Assistant Principal at Kirby.
In her later years with the district, she was the Director of Student Personnel, where she developed her interest in helping students who weren't succeeding in school.
"We had Holland at the time, which was a school that kids can go to for a year or a semester," Flanigan said. "They were incorrigible students, nobody could do anything with them. But before we left, we developed Denver. Mr. Lavy let me go and look at other schools, call other people and see what's going on. So, we set Denver up. I helped to do that, that was my baby."
For the last 19 years she's been the Director at the Texoma Alternative Center in Iowa Park where she's affected the lives of people like Kaleb Blair, who lost his mother while at the center.
"She passed away when I was 14," Blair said. "She helped me a lot with that. I didn't really know how to cope with it. You could always go talk to her."
"She made a good impact in my life, but then I don't know how many years later, she has made a good impact on my grandson's life," said Flanigan's former student, Stephanie Smith.
This office, where the walls were once filled with awards and accolades, is now empty as Mrs. Flanigan says goodbye to the career she loved, a career generations are very fortunate she chose.
Flanigan said today is the day she's leaving her paying job, but she'll continue to volunteer throughout the community.
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