Guess who’s graduating with the class of 2017 this year?
Suzanne Aldridge is soon to be leaving Centennial High School with all the seniors you might know right now. You could always catch her outside or in the classroom located right behind the Aldridge auditorium, that’s where she is known for her drama, public speaking, English classes and more. You also can see her walking the halls from time to time more than likely helping someone do something.
Why is she retiring?
Well just like anyone some people just need a break after teaching for years. Mrs. Aldridge has kept the theater on stage a grand experience for those on and off the stage for many years. She just needs time to find who she is instead of staying who she has became over the years working with Centennial. Don’t get her wrong though she will be missing the students, the faces and joy on people’s faces watching the people on stage. She is ready to start her life outside the school.
What does she hope to leave here at Centennial?
She just hopes that she can leave a legacy that she made it fun for everyone and not just an elite group of kids, that she created an audience for the future and hopefully people would learn to accept people.
Ever wondered what productions she made were the best?
Out of many many beautiful productions that were created she just doesn’t have one to pick from believe it or not, instead she has highlighted moments in each production. ‘‘To kill a Mockingbird brought in a big audience, and also race issues in the play and the community. Leading Ladies made people laugh. Hairspray brought most diverse group, and Cinderella was beautiful.’’ I’m pretty sure she could point each and every important aspect in each production but those were her main highlights. If you or anyone you know participated in those theatrical performance then you could probably understand when she says she doesn’t have a favorite.
Who has she impacted?
If you ever had a class with her like some other students I know you would feel like a current student at Centennial, Jay Terry. Jay has had Mrs. Aldridge all four years of his high school experience. She has been an important part of being here by introducing him to things he never thought of doing, things like drama, while he was in her class. When he was asked what will be his three things he will miss about Mrs. Aldridge he simply said,”her energy, kindness and how willing she is to include everyone into something.”
Another student is Ryan Gossett and not only is he a student he is a thespian, he loves the productions that Mrs. Aldridge makes. He feels excited that she will be happy but he also knows she will be sad. Ryan can tell she loved her students and was very connected to them and also the theater because she built it up from ground up. What he learned from Mrs. Aldridge was that memories are important. It is not about the things you live for but that you need to cherish the moment because you never know when will be the last. He learned how to have a second mom as if she adopted him, he knows someone other than his mother can love him. He will miss her talking because she has a way of talking. She is funny, positive, and happy and those things will make him miss the fun he had while she was directing. He hopes for the future that there is control, the new director can grasp the attention of kids, make it there home and keep up the legacy Mrs. Aldridge has started here at Centennial.
What is the plan for Centennial?
As far as the drama department goes and Mrs. Aldridge’s room plans are already on the blueprint you can say. The school will be getting new tech, sound, lights and costumes. They are cleaning everything out to just make room for more and new things for the next person who decides to start their own legacy. With that you need a fresh new room to start with and that is what will happen. The creative room that she has now will no longer look the same come next year. Besides all her personal things if any piece in her room is from a show it will be sold to whomever wants it just so they can remember all the things that were done before Mrs. Aldridge is leaving. If you are interested in getting a piece keep in contact with Mrs. Aldridge.
Mrs. Aldridge isn’t going to go straight to teaching again at another school she is completely going to take a gap year, a break is really needed especially when she has family to help care for. She plans on traveling a lot more, spending more time with family and volunteering. She still wants to make a difference in people’s lives, make them smile and give them joy. Thank you Mrs. Aldridge, for all that you do.