Most people in retirement do not return to their occupations, but Mrs. Laura Fry is not like most people. She returned to Bethel High School as a “temporary” social worker, even though she has been in retirement for nearly two years.
Mrs. Fry began working for the school district in 1985. She was Bethel’s first full-time social worker and the school was her first to employer in her field. She worked as the social worker in the high school, middle school and sometimes for Johnson elementary school and Rockwell elementary school when the district had budget cuts for employment.
At first Mrs. Fry did not think she was going to become a social worker. She was interested in elementary school. She explained, “I didn’t know about social work until I was in college. I was taking child-development and sociology and one of the things I had to do was help this family in poverty near the Uconn campus as they needed medical services and often their children struggled academically.”
Inspired by the experience of helping people get through the struggles of their life, Mrs. Fry decided that the field of social work was what she wanted to pursue.
“It’s a big commitment. I didn’t have the resources,” said Mrs. Fry. She worked as a case-aide for a family agency in Manhattan for four years until she was married and raised two children. While her kids were young, worked on her master’s degree in social work. It was then after receiving her masters that she came to Bethel Public School district.
Mrs. Fry retired from Bethel High School in 2010, but for two years, she has returned as a part-time, temporary social worker for the school. “I love my line of work,” Mrs. Fry explains. “I believe that being a social worker means to have much empathy and to be optimistic of other people’s life because change is possible.”
Despite retirement, Mrs. Fry continues to assist students with their problems, helping them seek and realize their potentials and goals.