SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) –It was a year like no other for teachers all over the county and for some Siouxland teachers it was their last.

“When you get that note that has been left on your desk, I think is probably the biggest heart-tugging emotional deal from that,” said George.

Jan George taught in the Sioux City Community School District for 31 years. Making an impact on his students was his goal. Now, COVID-19 is doing the same to him, making his final days unimaginable.

“Walking in that last time, turning in the keys and you know turning in my class to a new teacher and stuff so that is all the experience I didn’t get to have and maybe that’s okay. I don’t know. But when you have a passion for education and stuff to happen like this, you feel more for the kids than my situation where I’m retiring,” said George.

Laurie Dougherty is closing the same chapter of her life after guiding art students at Bishop Heelan for 35 years.

“I wish that I could have been in the classroom for my final year of teaching, but that is how it ended. So be it,” said Dougherty.

On Thursday, Dougherty, no doubt flashing back on more than three decades in the classroom as students and co-workers surprised her with one last thank you.

“I’m so grateful for all of the good people. All the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of kids that I’ve met who have been to kind to me, so good to me. I’m a very fortunate person,” said Dougherty.

“Kids that still come back and talk to me and I have had several kids call me “pop.” I mean it’s those things,” said George.

As these educators begin a new assignment, newcomers look to pickup where they left off.