Becky Christian can thank her husband’s passion for the outdoors for leading her to Kane where she’s had a 36-year teaching career.
Because he enjoyed hunting and fishing, Christian applied for a teaching job in Kane after graduating from Thiel College in 1976.
A native of Beaver near Pittsburgh, Christian said she had “never heard of Kane” before coming here for her first job interview after college graduation.
She learned the “next day” that she had been offered the job of kindergarten teacher at the former Clay Street Elementary School in Kane.
Christian began her teaching career in Kane in August 1976. She is retiring as a classroom teacher at the end of this week.
“One of my college professors knew my future husband loved to hunt and fish,” Christian said. “She directed me to Kane.”
That particular Thiel professor was very familiar with Kane. She was the aunt of Judge John Cleland of Kane.
Reflecting on her career, Christian said “the kids are the biggest reward for a teacher.”
“They’re happy to be in school,” she said. “Most are eager to learn.
“I like to teach kids how to learn. There are a lot of rewards when they’re using what you’ve taught them. If they know how to access material, they’ll be successful.”
Christian is the daughter of Guy and Jane Thigpen, who have lived in the same house in Beaver for 60 years. Her mother worked as the secretary at Beaver High School.
In 1972, Christian graduated from Beaver High where she served as the yearbook editor and was a member of the National Honor Society.
Christian has two brothers. Her late sister—Diane Thigpen—taught school in Kane for four years in the early 1980s.
While at Thiel, Christian was a member of the college’s “touring” choir.
She graduated with honors from Thiel in 1976 with a degree in psychology and certification in elementary education.
In 1979, she married her high school “sweetheart”—Fran Christian, who is a registered nurse at Warren State Hospital. Residents of Kane, they have three children—Rob, an Exxon project manager who is currently working in Russia; Sarah, who will be a senior at the University of Pittsburgh; and Tom, who is on track to graduate in 2014 from the University of Pittsburgh. The Christians have one grandson.
During her teaching career in the Kane School District, Christian has taught kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade and fifth grade. She has taught at four different buildings.
See full article by purchasing the June 4 edition of The Kane Republican.