Holy Cross Teacher Bids Farewell after 40 Years

Diane Ralston Retiring After 40 Years
Posted on 05/20/2019
Impromptu paper snowball fight in the classroom? Yup. Learning “the floss”? Yup. Dodge ball tournaments? Yes! (And she loves it when her class wins!)

Diane Ralston has had a lot of fun teaching at Holy Cross - Blessed Sacrament School. She will file away her teaching manual this Friday after 40 years in the classroom, most of it in fourth grade.

It’s a job she has loved. “The kids want to learn new concepts and are willing to put in the work to achieve this,” she says. “They can work independently, but still need guidance. They are honest and open about themselves and really want to please me as a teacher.” 
They try to teach her, too. “My kids this year say one of the funniest is trying to teach me "the floss," she says. “ I just can't seem to get the hang of it and we laugh when I try.”

She is serious about sharing her faith with faculty, staff and students. “The Mass is an important part of my life,” Ralston says. “I teach my students to be involved by preparing them to cantor, read or be gift bearers at our weekly school Masses. We just talked today in religion that it is important to pray to God all the time.”

Over the years she has appreciated her students praying for her and her disabled son, Jake, who lives in Sheldon at Village Northwest Unlimited. “Jake has had many surgeries over the years,” she says. “It means a lot to have everyone here at school pray for him.” 

Ralston is complimented when parents and students want her for their teacher or say are glad they were in her homeroom. “I enjoy having second generation students and having their parents say they want me to have their child.” 

While education has become more complicated today a good change is the focus on “individualized instruction for children to help make sure we are reaching the kids at their level,” she says.

Excluding the time when the bus driver forgot the class at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, Ralston has loved field trips over the years, including the 5th grade Mass with Bishop Nickless at the Cathedral. The Sioux City tours and the annual trip to Trinity Heights stand out as favorites. “I see and learn something new each year,” she says. 

The Blessed Sacrament school veteran plans to sleep in, read and volunteer in retirement. And after 40 years she hopes to sub a bit.

What advice does Ralston have for new teachers? “Show the kids you love each of one of them,” she says. “Be fair with the kids and be a team player with your teaching partner and school team.”