Back at Brown: Retired teacher returns to teach one more day


Montie Prince recently returned to the school where he taught and made an impact on many students during his tenure.

He stopped by Tiffany Thurston’s fourth-grade classroom at Margaret R. Brown Elementary School in Seymour, and that gave her a chance to share how much she admires him.

His daughter, Monica Kiste, also shared a letter about him.

Tiffany Thurston

Mr. Prince has been an inspiration to me as well as many others.

I remember his fifth-grade class like it was yesterday. He taught us many things, from memorizing the Preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address and the U.S. presidents in order to finding the best in everyone, trying your best and never losing sight of your dreams.

Twenty-three years later, we still keep in touch. I always love to hear his stories and how things are going as well as any lessons he has to teach me, and there are always new lessons.

Mr. Prince really thought the world of his students. He always pushed us to do our very best. He is a true hero. He is the person who really inspired me to become a teacher because I wanted to be just like him. If I can impact half as many students as he did, I will consider that a huge success.

Monica Kiste

My dad, Montie Prince, is my hero, and here is why.

My dad graduated from Tampico High School in 1960. He spent three years in the U.S. Army and worked seven years at Cummins Engine Co. before returning to college to finish his degree in education.

He graduated from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska, in 1972. His first year of teaching was in sixth grade in Seward.

After moving back to Indiana, he taught fifth grade for one year in New Whiteland. Then in 1974, he was hired into the Seymour school system to teach fifth grade at the old Washington School. He said his principal, Paul Rucker, taught him several useful hints about teaching.

When the new Margaret R. Brown school was completed, he taught fifth grade there. His favorite subjects to teach were math and history. You always knew when his students were coming down the hallway, as you could hear them reciting multiplication facts, the U.S. presidents or the Gettysburg Address.

Many of his students went on to be doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers and so forth. He thought the world of all of his students.

One of his most eager learning students was a 10-year-old by the name of Tiffany Gray. She is now Tiffany Thurston. One day, she told him she wanted to be a fifth-grade teacher just like him. Turn the clock forward a few years, and Tiffany achieved her goal of being a teacher. She is now in her 12th year teaching at Brown Elementary, the same school she grew up in.

A couple of Sundays ago, Dad happened to see Tiffany at Dairy Queen. After talking with her, she asked him to spend some time in her classroom. He told her he would be happy to come in.

On Oct. 8, he entered Brown school for the first time since he retired in 2003. He could not believe all of the changes that had taken place over the last 16 years. The building had been completely renovated. Everything seemed very nice, and the staff was very friendly.

After arriving in Mrs. Thurston’s classroom, he taught a math lesson. He said he met wonderful children and also renewed old friendships with some of the teachers he had taught with years ago. He was so very thankful and appreciative for the opportunity to teach one more time.

One motto he always told me as well as his students was, “You find what you look for in people. Look for the good, and you will find it.” He firmly believes teachers do make a difference. They teach our children, who are our hope for tomorrow. He told me, “Good teachers are worth their weight in gold.”

My dad was not only a fabulous teacher and administrator, but he is an amazing father and grandfather. He truly is a hero.

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