July 16th, 2024

Retired LCI teacher celebrates 100th birthday

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on April 6, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Retired LCI fashion teacher Muriel Shortreed reunites with former colleague Joey Shackleford, one of many that gathered to celebrate her 100th birthday on Monday at the school she taught at for 33 years.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

A retired Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Fashion teacher celebrated her 100th birthday in style Monday at the school where she taught for 33 years.
Muriel Shortreed started teaching at LCI during the 1949-1950 school year, in the original D wing of the school. She retired in 1983 after having taught many generations of fashion-interested students.
“The first boy I had was David Paterson, because he was going to be a minister and needed to learn to cook because he didn’t think he was ever gonna get married,” said Shortreed.
When asked about her secret to longevity she said she did not have a specific thing in mind, other than the fact that she always did what she wanted to do.
“I don’t know, it is really hard to know why I got to live so much,” said Shortreed.
She said she was a little surprised to see everyone that wanted to celebrate her birthday and even though it was not the same classroom where she taught Fashion, it felt good to be in the school.
Shortreed fondly remembers having breakfast at the school after retiring thanks to a year-end event the school caretaking staff organized.
“They have always been very nice to invite retired teachers that are still alive and still in southern Alberta to come back for breakfast, just to kind of meet new teachers and just touch base with a lot of the retired teachers,” said Joey Shackleford, retired teacher and former colleague of Shortreed.
Shackleford, who is a graduate of LCI, came back to his former school and taught for 35 years, where he was able to share four of them with Shortreed.
“She was always a sweetheart, welcomed me as a staff member in LCI and I really enjoyed getting to know her,” said Shackleford.
He said he had a little difficulty with calling his former teachers by their first name because it felt like it was disrespectful, as he had been calling them Mr. or Mrs. for his three years of high school while enrolled as student in LCI, but Shortreed made that transition easier.
Shackleford remembered having to interrupt Shortreed’s fashion class to go through a door that allowed him to crank the basketball baskets up or down as they were not motorized back in his student days.
He also remembered not being able to be her student as home economics was not an option for male students at the time.
“Back in my day guys had two options, PhysEd and Shop, that was it. But we’ve come a long way,” said Shackleford.
He said Shortreed is an inspiration for many retired teachers, and he hopes he can live as long as she has.
“As a retired teacher myself, I look at Muriel and I think ‘boy she has set the bar high for every retired teacher in southern Alberta to be 100, still in your own home.’ She’s a fabulous teacher here and just a fantastic person,” said Shackleford.

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