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Warren teacher retires, will continue reading to children

Pattie Rosenthal tailored select Shakespeare plays for her students


by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: ROBIN JOHNSON - Aside from reading to children, Pattie Rosenthal said one of her favorite subjects to teach is science. She noted a highlight of her teaching experience was making rockets from Coke and Mentos. Warren Elementary School third-grade teacher Pattie Rosenthal will retire this year after 21 years of teaching in the Scappoose School District.

Rosenthal said one of her favorite parts of teaching is reading out loud to kids. She plans to continue that service at the Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Among other accomplishments, Rosenthal in 1993 began writing her own renditions of William Shakespeare’s plays to be preformed by elementary school students. This year’s play, “Romeo and Juliet, Wild Thing, You Make my Heart Sing,” allowed Warren Elementary students to develop a love for the English language while benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Rosenthal said.

“Years ago I was reading in my fourth-grade class facts about Shakespeare,” she said, adding her students ended up performing “King Lear” that year. “I figured if he could write plays, I could too. I started writing child versions of Shakespeare plays and have been doing it ever since.”

Rosenthal said she didn’t know if another teacher would take the reigns for the Warren Elementary Shakespeare plays, but added she felt it would be nice if someone would.

Rosenthal said one of her highlights while working in the district has been teaching the Oregon Trail unit, wherein students and staff dress as pioneers and pull handmade wagons through the classroom. She said her and her students would also build different stations to signify particular landmarks along the trail, noting the Blue Mountains in Oregon were represented by blue Popsicles.

While teaching at Peterson Elementary School, before she transferred to Warren Elementary, Rosenthal said her fourth-grade class would always pick a community project. One year, her students decided to save aluminum cans to build funds for a benefit overseas.

“We saved enough cans to buy a scale for people in China to weigh panda bears,” she said.

Rosenthal began her teaching career at the kindergarten level in a North Dakota school 34 years ago. In 1985 she moved to southern California, where she taught kindergarten and preschool. In 1986, she moved to Connell, Washington, teaching English as a second language and kindergarten. Rosenthal began teaching in Oregon in the Central Linn School District in 1991, then transferred to the St. Helens School District in 1992, where she taught second grade.

She has been with the Scappoose School District since 1993.

“It’s been an honor and a joy to work here,” Rosenthal said. “It’s a very supportive community.”

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