After 26 Years, Walpole High School Says Goodbye to Mrs. Carol Peck


After 26 years at WHS, Mrs. Peck will be retiring at the end of this school year.

Karalyn Kickham

After 26 years at WHS, Mrs. Peck will be retiring at the end of this school year.

As the end of the school year approaches, both students and faculty are eagerly anticipating that first step outside on the last day of school: when the weights of all prior school work are lifted and relaxation can finally begin.  Most students and faculty can not wait to get out on the last day without even a glance backward as they begin their summer adventures—but who can blame them? They are just going to come back in September to the same school, the same rules, etc.  For Mrs. Carol Peck, however, the last day of school can be expected to bring a little sadness, as she will not be returning to Walpole High School next year unlike most others.  Mrs. Peck, the Special Education Department Head and Chairperson for Special Education services, will be beginning her retirement after spending 26 years at Walpole High School.

Mrs. Peck has been involved in education for quite some time; however, she did not know what she wanted to pursue when she was in high school.  Her guidance counselor recommended that she participate in a Career Exploration program at Wrentham State School for one year with other students her age.  After this program, Mrs. Peck was hooked on Special Education. She began her teaching experience as a substitute teacher in Brockton, followed by a position as the Procedural Assistant in Special Education at Bird Elementary School after she had re-entered education once her kids were all at the elementary school age.  Mrs. Peck then worked as an instructional assistant for four years at Bird Middle School, and eventually ended up at Walpole High School.  During her time spent at WHS, Mrs. Peck has worked her way through several classrooms including Math, Social Studies, English, academic skills, a reading class, moderate Special Education, and Work Study Lab–the predecessor to the School Store.

Now, 26 years after the beginning of her journey through Walpole High School, Mrs. Carol Peck will not be returning come this fall. During her retirement, Mrs. Peck is looking forward to finding time for all the little things she has not had time to do such as reading the list of novels she has picked out on her bookcase and, with a laugh, she said, “going on trips when air fares are cheaper.”

Along with the excitement of retirement comes feelings of nostalgia.  Looking back on her time spent at Walpole High School, Mrs. Peck reflected on one of her favorite memories–working with students at the School Store.  When Mrs. Peck began working in Special Education at Walpole High School, there was a class called Work Study Lab, which was for Special Education students to help them practice job skills.  This class was the predecessor to the School Store, where the Special Education students were able to work and apply their previously learned job skills.  The School Store was “a lot of hours but a lot of fun,” said Peck.  Shortly after taking out a loan to get the School Store started, the store was a great success.  They did not know how they were going to pay the loan back, but since it was a Super Bowl year for the high school, the students and staff involved in the School Store decided to sell Rebel cheer equipment, like pom-poms, in support of the Super Bowl in order to pay off the debt.  It was successful and is still one of Mrs. Peck’s favorite memories of working the School Store.

Other fond memories at Walpole High School include the Best Buddies Dinner Dances and watching Special Education students progress from freshman year to graduation.  Mrs. Peck said, “One of my favorite memories is learning to advocate for students’ needs and seeing them become successful learners through life.”

Mrs. Peck described her experience here at Walpole High School as “fulfilling while challenging” and “constantly a learning experience.” Despite being the teacher, she will miss learning something new from her students every day.  Mrs. Peck said, “I don’t care how many years you have been in education, you are always learning and willing to learn.” Congratulations to Mrs. Carol Peck, she will be greatly missed.