LOCAL NEWS

SLC kindergarten teacher calls it a career after 51 years

Jun 4, 2022, 9:57 AM | Updated: 10:01 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Friday brought a tender farewell for a five-decade-long teacher.

Louise Bitner started teaching Kindergarten in 1971.  She taught at Rosslyn Heights Elementary for 32 years until the school closed down. She spent her last two decades at Dilworth Elementary.

“I love the music, the PE, the art, learning about authors and reading to the children,” Louise Bitner said. “I love it all!  I grew up in a home where education was such a priority.”

Bitner has an energy that matches the children she has taught for decades.

“It is fun. Everyday is a new adventure. And children respond to positive praise,” Bitner said.

On Friday the children gathered around Bitner to wish her well during her retirement. The hugs were endless.

“As an incoming kindergartner, I was so nervous to go to school. I had anxiety.” Summer Chatwin said. “Miss Bitner made me feel needed at school.  She gave me purpose.”

Chatwin was in Bitner’s class in 1983. Now her children attend Dilworth where Bitner teaches.

“We had lived out of state for awhile. A few years back I was registering a kindergartner and 3rd grader at Dilworth Elem.,” Chatwin explained. “I walked in the doors and there was Miss Bitner. She immediately, without skipping a beat, said ‘Hi Summer! Are you coming to this school?’ I hadn’t seen her for 20 years. But she remembered me. She invests in people. She shares love at every turn.”

Now the former student has become a parent who volunteers in Bitner’s classroom.

“She has become a lovely friend of mine as an adult.” Chatwin said. “It’s one of the most amazing journeys of a mentor becoming a friend.”

The line of parents to thank Bitner extended outside, Friday. In every exchange, Bitner referenced parents, grandparents, current and former students. She flawlessly remembered every name correctly.

“People say how do you remember? I say how do you forget? When you have looked at a wonderful little face for 180 days, they become part of your world,” Bitner said.

When asked what the biggest change to the classroom has been in the last 51 years, Bitner mentioned a boost in confidence for some students and an increase in anxiety for others. She also noted the need to focus more on manners.

“The first questions I used to be asked at parent teacher conference 51 years ago included: ‘Is my child respectful to you? Are they polite in class? Are they well behaved? Are they nice to the other students?’ Those are questions I rarely get asked anymore,” Bitner said.

Bitner was the winner of a Huntsman Education Award in 1998. She has already signed up to volunteer and substitute at Dilworth next school year.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Three men are facing federal charges for allegedly robbing a postal carrier at gunpoint and taking ...
Brooke Williams

Man arrested after lengthy search, one still wanted

A 22-year-old man was arrested early Sunday after fleeing from a traffic stop.
14 hours ago
A West Valley police car. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)...
Brooke Williams

Two dead after crashing into parked truck

Two died in a crash in West Valley.
14 hours ago
Keith Jensen's Christmas home lit up by all the festive lights. (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Millcreek man lights up neighborhood with the face of Santa

Millcreek man is spreading Christmas cheer through tens of thousands of lights all around his home.
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO: The Chickadee lift is pictured at Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Thursday, Oct...
Michael Houck and Brooke Williams

Avalanche triggered at Snowbird resort, no injuries reported

Rescue crews responded to the Snowbird Ski Resort after an avalanche was triggered on a trail. 
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Lehi Police Department/Facebook)...
Michael Houck

Lehi building placed on ‘lock down’ after reports of man with a gun

A misunderstanding caused a building to be placed in "lock down" after reports of a man with a gun Tuesday.
2 days ago
handcuffs...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Price man arrested in woman’s 2019 death now being called a murder

A Price man has been arrested for investigation of murder in connection with the shooting death of a woman in 2019 in Carbon County that was once considered an accidental shooting.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
SLC kindergarten teacher calls it a career after 51 years