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Teaching about life through French

CHAMPLAIN - Every person has a different idea of what makes a good teacher and what makes a great teacher. Three seniors of Janet McFetridge's CAP French class - Lauren Hebert, Kimberly Dragoon and Jennifer Bechard - summed up their idea of a good teacher as someone who "not only teaches you," but "also cares about you" and "helps you become a better person." The three were in agreement McFetridge personified this idea.

McFetridge has been a French teacher at Northeastern Clinton Central School for 24 years. In that time, she has participated in an extraordinary amount of clubs and community service organizations. Some of these have included French Club, Outdoor Club, and the Cougar Running Club.

"I like to keep busy, especially if I'm helping others," said McFetridge.

She also coordinates community service projects for the entire school, including recycling bottles and paper. In her spare time, she makes reusable cloth bags for grocery shopping and sells them.

"She's a positive person that loves to give her time freely to students and many charitable causes," said fellow teacher Courtney Miller.

For the past 22 years, McFetridge has taken her students on trips abroad every few years.

"I can't think of a better lesson than for them to live what they're learning about. Learning in a class is very isolated," said McFetridge. "When the students go to France and they communicate and know they're understood, it's like a light bulb goes on."

McFetridge enjoys spending her time with her students inside the classroom and out.

"A lot of adults think teenagers are self-centered. I don't really see it," she said. "Given an opportunity, they want to get involved in worthwhile activities."

Her students enjoy her company and style of teaching, as well.

"She is really thorough when she teaches, so it's really easy to understand, and if you don't get it, she'll keep going over it until you do," said junior Ashley Goyette. "She makes it enjoyable."

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