BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Editor
Billie Pambid spent 30 years with Clarkston Community Schools in a variety of roles during her professional career.
This was also after she grew up in town and graduated from Clarkston High School in 1977.
With the end of the 2019-20 school year also came Pambid’s retirement, something she decided on over a year ago.
“My husband, Mark, retired two years ago and I want to do retirement things with him,” Pambid said. “He has always supported me in every way, and we have been looking forward to retirement and traveling some. My mother, mother-in-law and aunt are all healthy and active and a part of my life, and I want to spend time with them. My kids are in their late 20s and early 30s and in the middle of building their careers and families.
“I want to be there to help and support them. I had so much support from my family and husband’s family. It makes a difference.”
In her 30 years with CCS, Pambid worked as an adult education math and science teacher, an alternative education science teacher, an alternative education principal, and director of shared time and innovative programs, with the latter where she wrapped up her career.
“As the shared time director, I developed partnerships with private schools where CCS sends teachers to those schools to teach non-core courses,” Pambid explained. “It is a revenue source. I really enjoyed working with the private schools and their leaders. I learned a lot and I hope that I helped them. I am sure some will be lifelong friends. As the director of innovative programs, I had a hand in developing online learning, dual enrollment, early college and career and technical education partnerships with other districts.
“I am a huge fan of new and advanced scheduling for students, especially in secondary schools. I was able to do some of that at Renaissance (High School).”
In all honesty, Pambid said, she never planned on being a teacher.
“My mother and father are both retired Clarkston teachers,” she said. “When I started a family, I started tutoring math and, for some reason, was very successful at it. It led to teaching. More than teaching, I loved the students at Renaissance. They were interesting and fun. I am sure they taught me way more than I taught them. Teaching led to administration. I started doing shared time when I was a principal and the job grew too big to do both.
“I like challenges and things changed enough for me in the district that I was always interested and challenged. I also love my job and the people I work with. I am not leaving for any negative reasons; it’s just time for a new adventure. It was never tedious, so time just flew by. I can’t believe it’s been 30 years.”
Pambid noted she will miss a great deal about the district.
“Well, I have had a little practice due to COVID,” said Pambid. “I will probably miss seeing everyone the most. It seems like no matter how hard you try, once you leave, you don’t see those people very much. Kind of like graduating from high school or college. I think I will miss being a part of the changes that this year will bring, doing new things. I thrive on change and think a lot of that might be coming, but I guess that will be for someone else to lead.
“Clarkston has good leadership and I am excited to see where things go.”
Pambid said leaving her position after the in-person school year was shut down in March made her realize how much working for CCS meant to her.
“I haven’t been able to thank everyone just yet,” Pambid said. “I owe so many people so much. I have done nothing on my own, all of it has been with the support of incredible people. Trying to pass all the information on to my replacement in these strange times was bad enough. But, I tripped in my house and hit a wall, breaking my arm so bad I had to have my shoulder replaced. It has been a strange ending of the year.
“However, working from home was so much easier than trying to get dressed in work clothes every day and have my husband drive me to work, so mixed emotions about the end of the year happening this way,” she added.
“I know it was not best for kids and learning, but I hope families got to spend more time together. I know we all learned a lot about what it takes to do online learning and respond to an unimaginable situation in the blink of an eye. I think that is good. Keeps everyone on their toes and starts them imagining what could be.
“I would like to thank my family, Marilynn Allyn and Rod Rock for making me feel like I could do anything and giving me the chances to do it. I will get to everyone else soon.”
Pambid started kindergarten at Bailey Lake Elementary the year it opened, and then went to Pine Knob Elementary from first grade through sixth grade before going to Sashabaw Junior High and then CHS.
“My parents both taught at PK; I had my dad for sixth grade,” said Pambid. “I always liked school but wanted to change it even back then.
“My three siblings still live in Clarkston as does my husband’s family. My kids both have homes in Clarkston and I will have a grandchild in July. We are deeply entrenched in Clarkston. One time I counted and I have had eight family members and in-laws who worked at CCS some time or another.”