LIMA — After 44 years serving Marimor School, Peggy Cockerell is retiring effective Dec. 29th. Cockerell is Director of Education at the school that serves people with developmental disabilities. They are under the umbrella of the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “I hate to admit this but I started when this building opened. I actually started in the classroom. I taught for 20 years in the Home Arts room and taught our students really practical functional skills like how to cook and how to sew and how to do housework,” Cockerell said. Cockerell has had a front row seat over the years on how people with developmental disabilities are treated. “Things have changed tremendously over that time. For children, when we first opened, our building was not really handicap accessible because kids who had some of the more severe and challenging disabilities, especially physical disabilities, they didn’t even come here because people felt like they couldn’t handle being here. So there was a teacher that went out to the house once a week and worked with those students,” she said. The number of students that are being served at Marimor school has actually declined. “Back then, when we were probably at our biggest, we had probably 120 students, that’s changed significantly because we’re really pushing for all of our students that can be, to be served in their public school district and their home school district. Over the years, we’ve gotten a lot smaller because we only serve the kids who have the most significant disabilities,” she said. An open house will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday at Marimor which will give people a chance to say goodbye to Cockerell. At 6:30 p.m. the public is invited to the schools’ annual Christmas program. “I’m going to miss the students because our students are just so fun to interact with. They truly can teach us way more than we can teach them. I’m really going to miss the staff. Through all of these years, the staff at the school has been very caring, they’re very dedicated. They truly want to bring out the best abilities in all of our students. They’re here for all of the right reasons,” she said.
Peggy Cockerell, principal at Marimor School will be retiring next week.