BLACKFOOT — Tom Harrington has spent 39 years as a teacher and administrator, and this year he has finally decided to retire.
Harrington has worked in the Blackfoot School District for 22 years as an administrator. He was an assistant principal at Blackfoot High School from 1989-1991. He was then assigned to Mountain View Middle School for three years. He was transferred back to BHS in 1991, where he has remained since.
"I found my niche," Harrington said. "I like to work with kids and it's been a perfect fit."
Harrington, who learned to speak Spanish on an LDS Church mission in Uruguay in the 1960s, attended Brigham Young University after his return where he majored in Spanish and minored in German.
His first teaching job was as a Spanish and German teacher in Phoenix, Ariz. After two years, he and his family moved to Rigby, where he taught Spanish, German, English, debate and yearbook for 15 years.
He attended Idaho State University afterwards to become a school administrator who would listen to teachers and offer suggestions when asked. He was then hired in Blackfoot.
Harrington's ability to speak Spanish proved useful at Blackfoot High School, oftentimes speaking Spanish to students or parents of students five times a day.
"That's been a great asset," Harrington said. "That's been a huge benefit."
While Harrington has officially announced his retirement, he won't officially retire until Aug. 31. He will be at BHS through the rest of this week and will then be teaching summer school and driver education this summer.
While he will be retired, Harrington—who is just 64—has no plans to slow down. He said he would like to write a Spanish textbook for adults and is also interested in writing a book on finance for young people.
He also plans to spend time traveling to visit his seven grandchildren and working at the Family History Center researching genealogy.