After 45 years in education, a local teacher is saying goodbye.

Copperas Cove High School English teacher Jan Stalder had dedicated her life to educating students throughout the years.

In 1969, Stalder began her career at Southwest Texas University, now known as Texas State.

Stalder said she always wanted to teach and on what level. After teaching at the university level, began her career at Copperas Cove High School.

In addition to being an English teacher, Stalder was a debate coach, UIL coordinator, history teacher, newpaper and literary magazine advisor, and AP and Dual Credit teacher.

Students nicknamed her “Dragon Lady” for her rigorous curriculum they said have thoroughly prepared them for college English.

Stalder said the students go into their AP tests knowing that they are prepared to do well not only in the tests but also in all their college classes and professional activities.

“They have learned how to work in groups, how to evaluate their own efforts and those of others, and to plan for improvement and carry out their plans,” she said. “It is the most important lesson I can teach and they can learn.”

Stalder has taught district administrators and elected officials including CCISD Deputy Superintendent Rick Kirkpatrick and CCISD Board of Trustees member Dr. Karen Harrison who is a family medicine practitioner.

Stalder said she firmly believes that students will rise to levels of expectations if given enough support and encouragement.

“I saw this belief reinforced by the attitudes and actions of the majority of the students in my classes,” she said. “The students rarely let me or themselves down.”

Stalder said she does not plan to substitute but ay do some magazine or newspaper writing.

She was named CCISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year for this school year and is a nominee for the Region 12 Teacher of the Year.