Couple retires together

Pernells end long career at SHS at the same time


Hailey Boger

Anthony Pernell has taught at SHS for 33 years. Over the years, him and his wife, Janet, have brought kids in and been their “parents” when their home-life wasn’t the best.

Madison Gomez, Reporter

SHS senior Aaron Blackwell had his life changed when he was kidnapped from his house two years ago. Blackwell had learned he would have to live with someone new, and he had only seen the man he was going to live with in family pictures. Now, Blackwell knows Anthony Pernell, SHS art teacher, as a teacher, an uncle and father figure.

Anthony and his wife, Janet Pernell, former SHS math teacher, have taken in four SHS students into their home in the past and given them food and shelter so that they don’t have to worry about those necessities while tackling the school day.

“(Helping students) just comes naturally to us,” said Anthony.  Although they both like helping students, Janet retired last semester and this will be Anthony’s last year as well.

“My job has always been what I’ve wanted to do, and I would still do it if I could…,” said Anthony. “But, as you get older your time and energy levels dwindle.”

It is Anthony’s 33rd year working at SHS but 35th year working in the district, because he taught art at SMS for two years. He is planning to move to Albemarle, North Carolina and has already bought a house in the area. While his job has not restricted him much from doing what he loves, because what he loves is kids, he plans on traveling, putting up an art gallery/frame shop, going bass fishing and “enjoy(ing) that southern cooked food.” The ideal situation for him is teaching an art class half of the day and the other half working in the art gallery, but that cannot be found for him in Indiana.

“I’m going to miss the kids, definitely,” said Anthony.

Junior Yuke Yu’s artwork caught Anthony’s eye back when she was in 8th grade at the art show and he urged her to take his class. He would “nag” at her and ask “why aren’t you in my class?” any time that he would see Yu in the hallway. In Yu’s defense, her schedule has always been full and she finds it very sad that the year she can take his class ends up being his last one.

“I wish I had more time with him in class, he’s really funny,” said Yu.

Blackwell is also a student in Anthony’s drawing class and says that both Janet and Anthony are very nice for always providing him with what he needs in and out of school. Blackwell wanted to go college from the very start, and the two have provided him with the opportunity to achieve that and hopefully graduate. This would make him the first one on his side of the family to do both.

“He’s a really kind person and has went out of his way a lot and I really appreciate it,” said Blackwell.