3 sisters retire with combined 117 years of teaching in Maine


PORTLAND, Me. (WCSH) – Three sisters, who all work as teachers in the state of Maine, have decided to retire at the same time.

Cecile LaPlante, Theresa LaPlante and Sue Donovan will be retiring at the end of this school year after working in education for a combined 117 years. 

Sue Donovan teaches math at Memorial Middle School. She’s been teaching for 37 years. Her older sister, Theresa LaPlante, is a guidance counselor at Portland High School, and has been in education for 38 years. Their eldest sister, Cecile LaPlante, teaches French at South Portland High School; she’s been doing it the longest: 42 years. 

All three say the decision to retire was made independent from each other. While they’re excited to see what the future has in store, the sisters confess that the last day of school will be a bittersweet beginning to the next chapter of their lives.

The sisters were among eight siblings who grew up in Van Buren on the Canadian border. Their mother and father were farmers who encouraged their daughters’ to learn.

Growing up the siblings played school in a makeshift classroom their father had set up in the basement of their home. Cecile was always the teacher. She taught her younger siblings math and drama and she’d play the piano and make them sing.

The sisters think their parents who never got a chance to retire would be proud of them and their careers.

 “It has just been a great, great career for me,” says Cecile. 

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