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Pine Street School pillar moves on
Sara Lindsey horiz IMG 1884
So long: Physical education teacher Sara Lindsey will retire after nearly 40 years at years end. - photo by Michelle Kim

As the year draws to a close, the staff and students at Pine Street Elementary will be saying goodbye to a pillar of the Pine Street Elementary faculty.

Physical education teacher Sara Lindsey will be retiring after nearly four decades of getting kids to get up and go.

"She was the best P.E. teacher and my favorite specials teacher," said third-grader Ezra Smith. "She was funny and tried to make the classes fun," said Kassidy Slayton. "I’ll miss doing Chicken Fat (a warm up exercise)," said kindergartner Chloe Frazier.

"It’s been hard," said Lindsey, of finally making the decision to retire. "I’ve been wanting to do it, but it’s been my life forever."

Over the years, Lindey has had the distinction of teaching under nine different principals, said Payne, and has seen generations of Conyers children come and go, including Holly Hunter and Curtis Aikens. "She’s been the only P.E. teacher Pine Street has ever had teaching children of former students," said Payne.

Lindsey said former students often come up to her in a store. "Recently someone came up to me and said, ‘Whatever happened to Ms. Anderson?’ That’s my maiden name. I said, ‘That’s me. I look a little different.’"

Lindsey has been married for 18 years to her husband Larry. The exuberant Indiana native initially taught seventh and eighth graders at the J.P. Carr School in 1971 for two years before leaving for her master’s degree in Indiana. After she returned, she began teaching at Pine Street Elementary in 1974.

In those days there was "no air-conditioned gym, not a blacktop for basketball nor was there outside play equipment or a walking track," said Assistant Principal Susan Payne, "She taught P.E. in half of the cafeteria." Because of her persistence in supporting the school, Lindsey collected Campbell’s soup labels for education and box tops to help buy new equipment for the school.

After she retires Lindsey wants to travel — she and her husband have visited Alaska every summer for the last six years — workout regularly, have lunch with friends, "but mainly relax and not set an alarm clock," Payne said.

"I’m not a morning person," said Lindsey.