After teaching math for 20 years at Grandview High School, Don Sutcliffe retired from his position at the end of last year. He has been a member of MSTA since his first year at Grandview in 2001, serving the CTA as treasurer for many years and the Kansas City region as Member at Large, President-Elect, President, Past President and region Treasurer. Instead of settling into a fully retired lifestyle after an impressive career in the classroom, Sutcliffe has decided to pursue a lifelong interest in pottery. After retiring, Sutcliffe bought a cheap pottery wheel on Amazon and began watching YouTube videos to learn the craft. He also took a few in-person lessons but found it difficult to schedule sessions that were convenient for both him and his instructor. Sutcliffe eventually discovered the Belger Arts Center in Kansas City, where he is able to buy supplies and take a variety of classes. The center also offers firing services, and Sutcliffe enjoys going to pick up his work after it has come out of the kiln. He is also an avid quilter, having made "I Spy" quilts for his grandsons for Christmas. Sutcliffe joined the Log Cabin Quilt Guild and has appreciated exploring and learning with the group. In December, he started a second career and went to work for Hawthorn Bank in Belton, which he describes as a completely different environment than the education world. Reflecting on his career in education, Sutcliffe advises educators to realize the importance of finding a work-life balance and making time for personal hobbies and interests. Don Sutcliffe’s experience serves as a reminder that life can be full of new and exciting opportunities. It’s never too late to pursue a passion or try something new.
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