Jane Kirton, beloved music teacher, to retire after 21 years
BY CHLOE LANE, STAFF WRITER
After more than 20 years working as Sanford High School’s Choral Director, Jane Kirton will be retiring at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.
“It’s just time,” Kirton shared.
In addition to being the chorus teacher, Kirton has been involved in leading countless concerts, musicals, music festivals, graduation ceremonies, and other events in the performing arts over her time at Sanford. She’s been a class advisor and mentored several new teachers. She is also an incredible supporter of athletics, often found working the clocks or scorebooks at basketball, volleyball, field hockey and lacrosse games.
Kirton says that her favorite part about teaching was being able to make an impact on students’ lives. “My kids,” she said, “that’s what I’ll miss most.”
“I take great pride in getting to know my students and caring for them. Once a student, always one of my children.”
“Teaching is a calling,” she states. “You have to love what you do.”
Kirton was a graduate of Sanford High School in 1972 and has been the music teacher at the high school since 2001. Before that, she directed two children’s choirs and taught at Noble Middle School for two years.
Kirton worked for the government after receiving her Associate’s Degree from Westbook College. When she turned 40, she returned to school attending the University of Southern Maine to study music.
“Confidence-wise, I didn’t feel like I would be a really good music teacher,” she explains. “But then my confidence grew after I worked with those two children’s choirs, and I took the plunge!”
On May 10, during the SHS Chorus’s final concert for the 2022 school year, Brett Williams – the Sanford Performing Arts Center (SPAC) director – along with some former students of Kirton ended the night by acknowledging her retirement and thanking her for her service.
“Her classroom is always an emotional, safe place, and she always puts her kids above what she’s doing,” said Williams.
Past members of the chorus also did a surprise performance of “For Good”, from the Broadway musical, “Wicked” in honor of her.
According to Kirton, she’s still figuring out her plans after retirement but hopes to be able to work with Williams in the SPAC. She’s also interested in doing therapy work with her dog for children and teenagers undergoing drug and/or alcohol rehab.
Mrs. Kirton, thank you for the years dedicated to Sanford High School and congratulations on retirement. You will be greatly missed!