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Popular Glencoe High teacher closes her books

Susan McLain, teacher and speech and debate coach at Glencoe High School, retired this month after more than four decades in education in Oregon.by: COURTESY PHOTO - Recent Glencoe High School graduate Lorena Colcer poses with Susan McLain, her speech and debate coach at Glencoe. McLain is retiring after more than four decades in education.

McLain is a recipient of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce’s Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Education and numerous awards from the National Forensics League.

This week, McLain takes her final trip to the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Overland Park, Kan., with one of her students — capping off a long tradition of investing in the success of her students in and out of the classroom.

“Retiring is bittersweet,” McLain said. “I have loved teaching and I’m going to miss it.”

Lorena Colcer, who just graduated from Glencoe High, credits McLain with making a big impact in her life.

“Mrs. McLain’s support has really helped me become analytical, get interested in politics, and find who I am,” said Colcer. Colcer competed at the national level in speech and debate last year and plans to attend Oregon State University in the fall.

“The last week of school, I gave a final speech and it kind of hit me all at once how much speech and debate has changed me. I’m definitely going to keep in touch with Mrs. McLain. She’s been such a huge part of my life,” Colcer said.

McLain won’t be idle for long.

Once she returns from the National Speech and Debate Tournament, she plans to focus on her campaign to represent House District 29 — which includes Forest Grove, Cornelius and Hillsboro — in the Oregon House of Representatives.

“There’s a lot of important work that still needs to be done to give our kids and our communities the future they deserve,” McLain said. “Even though I’m retiring from teaching, I’m committed to doing that work in Salem.”

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