East Cheatham Elementary School teacher Lacritia Sanson, referred to by her colleagues and students as “coach”, will retire Dec. 17 after 30 years in education, all in the Cheatham County school district.

Sanson, who worked 14 years at Cheatham County Central High School and 16 years at East Cheatham Elementary School, said she loves her district and its people.

“It’s my second home. I take pride in telling people I worked in Cheatham County. People would tell me when I told them I worked in Cheatham County, ‘Oh, you folks play hard,’ ” she said.

Sanson said of her favorite memories was started a class at Cheatham County Central High School that allowed seniors to find different ways to exercise outside of school.

She said that the community got on board with her idea, with local residents allowing her students to utilize golf courses, swimming pools, and horse farms for free so that they could try forms of physical fitness not usually found in schools.

“I enjoyed the professional freedom I was given. I’ve been given the chance to start new programs, take many interesting field trips and make many connections with my community and other communities. To me, that exhibits trust that my superiors value my judgement. The community has been accepting in making these things come to fruition,” Sanson said.

Sanson has taught several generations of the same families and has seen some of her students grow up to become educators.

East Cheatham Elementary fourth grade teacher Melissa Jones is one of Sanson’s former students.

“She (Sanson) was my softball coach for two years. As a coach, she had high expectations for her players – both on and off the field. I specifically remember her pushing me during practices, knowing that refining our skills in practice was key to our success,” Jones said.

“As a colleague, I have been most impressed with her creativity and passion.”

East Cheatham Elementary third grade teacher Annalisa Lewis is not only a former Sanson student but also the mother of two of Sanson’s current students.

“Knowing Coach in each stage has truly been special. Coach has a special way of motivating her students to be their absolute best selves,” Lewis said. “She is a model of these expectations and a natural leader. Coach taught me as a student and teacher that hard work, grit, and effort are the tools to create a successful life.

“I will treasure my experience gained from her forever, and I’m so thankful my own personal children had the opportunity to experience her gifts. The legacy Coach has left on education in Cheatham County is profound and admirable.”

As Sanson reaches the conclusion of her educational career, she said her greatest accomplishment has been “being able to put a child into the world that is well-rounded and that I’ve given them everything they need in their toolbelt in order to be contributing members of society and to be successful.”

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