Susan Ames Retires from SPS


Susan Ames is retiring after 34 years as an educator

Emma Riedel, Editor-in-Chief

In the warm month of June, if you walk down the history hallway, you might hear someone shout “the Declaration of Sentiments” followed by a spirited “Bingo!” These are the sounds of Ms. Ames’ classroom. However, after 34 years of teaching in Scituate, devoted history teacher Susan Ames is retiring.

Demonstrating an interest in teaching since she was young, Ames said she used her playroom chalkboard to pretend to teach math when she was a child. Enthusiastic about English and history when she was in high school, Ames majored in American Studies at Smith College in Northampton, MA. 

In Scituate, Ames has the unique distinction of teaching at every level: She spent 19 years at the middle school, eight years at Jenkins Elementary School, and the last seven years at SHS. Several graduating seniors were her elementary and high school students. Senior Mimi Minich, one of these lucky few, said it felt like “things came full circle.” Having Ames as a teacher near the beginning and end of her public education, Minich commented, “I congratulate her on retiring, but SHS is losing a really great teacher.” 

Junior Sophie Blanchard, who took AP U.S. History this year, praised Ames for being one of the “most organized” teachers she’s ever known. Blanchard said Ames makes “hard subjects easier to understand while also challenging us to do our best.”

Whether at Gates, Jenkins, or SHS, Ames consistently sought advice from her friends and fellow educators. One of her colleagues, history department chair Steve Swett, said he admires her “calmness and her goodheartedness,” which pushes him to channel the same in his work.

Beyond teaching about the USS Maine and the Great Society, Ames hopes she’s taught her students to care about people from the past. She thinks it’s important to acknowledge the obstacles they faced and what they did “to help us be where we are today.” 

While she’s ready for the next chapter, Ames confesses she will miss conversations with students and the spontaneous moments of levity in class. Although teaching is a lot of work, Ames commented, “The good days of teaching are just awesome.”