FRIENDLY FACES Long-time Edgewater Elementary secretary, librarian and French teacher Irene La Rochelle is mobbed by friends and colleagues during her 95th birthday party at Columbia Garden Village on Friday, December 7th. Photo by Greg Amos

If the turnout for her 95th birthday party was any indication, the oldest retired teacher in the Rocky Mountain school district is also one of the most popular.

Many of the nearly 40 people in attendance at the surprise party held on Friday, December 7th at Columbia Garden Village praised Irene La Rochelle for her kindness, her dedication to the Edgewater Elementary school, and her still-sharp memory.

La Rochelle worked there as the school secretary and librarian until she was 70, and was a mentor to many new teachers in the community over the course of her career. The party, thrown by the Columbia Valley Retired Teachers Association, featured music performed by Mike Smith and Marty Beingessner.