Steven and Diana Walker will retire after 39 years at SHS
BY KEIRA KILKENNY, STAFF WRITER
Since 1979, Diana and Steven Walker have been teachers working side by side with each other. They’ve decided that – after almost 43 years in the field – it’s time to sit back and enjoy their house on the lake.
Mr. and Mrs. Walker met their freshmen year at Plymouth State University (Plymouth, N.H.). After graduating, they both got teaching jobs in Woodsville, New Hampshire. Mrs. Walker started teaching physical education for grades kindergarten through twelfth grade, and Mr. Walker started teaching chemistry. They worked in Woodsville for four years before switching to at Sanford High School (SHS).
Mrs. Walker is a health and physical education teacher at SHS, however, she only started teaching health shortly after she got hired here.
Mrs. Walker said that she’d known she wanted to be a physical education teacher since she was in seventh grade. “I admired my physical education teacher in the seventh grade,” said Mrs. Walker while smiling. “I liked her energy, she was fun. And I just said, ‘I want to be like her,’ and it just stuck.” She laughed.
All these years later and she still gushes about what she loves about her job. “It’s not the same thing every day. It changes all the time and I learn so much. It helped me raise my own children because I knew what to expect.” she said with a smile.
Her other half, Mr. Walker, is a chemistry teacher at SHS, but he said that he teaches any sciences, noting that he has “had them all at one point in time.”
When asked why he went into teaching, Mr. Walker replied with a laugh, “Seemed like the thing to do at the time. Wife was going into teaching, why not?”
Mr. Walker said that one of his biggest victories throughout his teaching career is seeing his former students become successful. “It doesn’t have to be a super fancy high paying job necessarily but they’re out there they got a family they’re happy. They’re working and life is good.”
Both Mr. and Mrs. Walker are also long-time coaches at the high school. Mrs. Walker has been a field hockey coach as long as she’s been a teacher and also coached lacrosse in recent years, stepping back in 2021. Mr. Walker has been the girl’s track coach for about 34 years. However, he has also coached soccer, football, nordic skiing, softball and hockey.
They also both played sports in high school. Mrs. Walker played field hockey, basketball and was a cheerleader, while Mr. Walker played football and swam.
Mrs. Walker said that one of the reasons she became a coach was because of the types of coaches she had in high school. She smiled, “I knew that I always had them as not necessarily a friend but as somebody that I could trust, and go to if I couldn’t go to my parents.”
Mr. and Mrs. Walker both said that once they retire, they are staying local. “We’re on family property so we’re there until the duration,” said Mrs. Walker. “I’ll probably be buried there,” she laughed.
They also plan to spend time with their grandchildren and ride their motorcycles for as long as they can. Mrs. Walker also said that she wants to spend time outside at their house on the lake, “We’re gone all day long while we’re teaching, so I’d like to enjoy it.”
When asked what he was going to miss most about teaching, Mr. Walker replied, “[Kids] make you laugh,” his eyes crinkling with a smile. “Kids are always talking about what they’re going to be and do. And sometimes it’s absolutely ridiculous, but it’s still amusing. They’re young. And they keep you young.”