Carole Aikin Hutcheson grew up in a family of teachers, so it was no wonder that she became a teacher, too, and her children continue the tradition. She attended Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA her freshman year, then transferred to the University of Kansas along with her future husband, Dean Hutcheson.They were married in May 1971 on campus in the University Chapel and are in their 48th year of marriage. Carole writes, “Our faith and personal relationship with Jesus Christ has been the foundation of our marriage and family.”
Her first teaching job was in Independence, MO, in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. In 1995, after the addition of three children and 15 years of teaching, Carole pursued a Master’s Degree in Education. She made the move to middle school teaching 8th grade American History, retiring after 35 years in the teaching profession. “I would say that I was totally satisfied and very content with my students and my teaching content over all those years. My students gave me a wonderful energy every day and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed my teaching career.”
They have three children. Daughter Sarah lives with her family in Des Moines, IA and has 17-year-old twin sons, Noah and Samuel, and a daughter Scotland, 10. Their son, Joe, lives in Philadelphia and is a high school English teacher, making her mom proud. They have 9-year-old twin girls, Sylvia and Emma. Their youngest son, Zach and his wife live nearby. Zack taught school in Kabul, Afghanistan for three years at the American International School. He met his bride there at the school and they came back to the states They were married seven years ago. Zack’s wife, Parwana, has accomplished her medical degree at the University of Kansas Medical Center. They have plans to have children (who knows….maybe a third set of twins!)
Now retired for five years, Carole and her husband are engaged in a number of volunteer activities in their community and church, including walking as a daily physical activity and a membership at the area YMCA. They enjoy lectures at the University of Kansas, as well as attending movies and reading. But their most favorite pastime has been travel, including five international trips to Europe—a total of 25 countries so far. “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer,” she writes. Pressed to name a favorite country, Carole says that Scandinavia, Russia and Italy have been the best. Her husband’s degree was in cartography-mapmaking, so they have no need for GPS with his background, hobbies and skills. They have been to Washington DC many times which satisfies Carole’s interest in American history.
Remembering Burbank High School, Carole says: “I am very grateful that I have good memories of my high school experience. Participating in the Burbank High Schooll drill team was an honor for me and enjoyment. I made a lot of friends there including upperclassmen that were good mentors to me. I was very impacted by certain teachers. Mr. Lockne, my Latin teacher, taught me things which at the time I thought were a bit boring, but I certainly used them throughout my education. Mr. Buckner, my biology teacher, really challenged me to be the best student I could be.. Mr. Young, my geometry teacher, really taught me patience as geometry was not my best talent.“
Probably the most impact on my learning what is Mrs. Claire Kingsbury, my 10th grade English teacher. She was a newlywed and a first-year teacher and I was very impressed and motivated by her style of teaching American literature. I credit her with instilling in me a real passion for reading and writing. While others in the class preferred to sit in the back row, I was in the front seat soaking in all of Shakespeare and the American classics. I probably looked like a real nerd, but she had me in her hand. Perhaps this is where our son’s love for literature and writing comes from as he performs as a high school English teacher.“
I am very thankful to for the good friends that I had while in high school. Leaving Burbank, California, and being so far away is no excuse for not communicating, but I’m afraid I did a poor job of staying connected. However, when I think of the friendships I had starting from Emerson kindergarten and first grade and the fact that so many of them continued all the way through high school, I feel very grateful. Seeing the class pictures on the school website has brought back many great memories.”