Doreen Sanborn is one of several individuals retiring from the Faribault School District this year. Other Faribault Public Schools retirees have been featured in previous editions of Faribault Daily News.
Doreen Sanborn retires this month with many years of working as a paraprofessional behind her. But in the last few years of her tenure in Faribault Public Schools, Sanborn served as a data technician for Lincoln and Jefferson.
“I’ve always liked technology, even as a kid growing up,” said Sanborn, who worked in the district for 33 years. “I was the first female to take a shop class at FHS, just because I liked to take things apart.”
At the time, Sanborn’s guidance counselor told her an electronics class was only for boys. The teacher, Steve Temple, didn’t mind having a girl in his class as long as her parents agreed to sign a permission slip. Sanborn shocked the counselor with her parents’ approval, and the next year three girls participated in that same electronics class.
As one of six data technicians in the district, Sanborn keeps technology going in her two assigned buildings. She works with iPads, document cameras, smart classrooms and apps. Since summer is her busiest time of year, when data techs make the necessary technology updates for the coming school year, Sanborn’s retirement first at the end of June.
“She loved the tech part of her job and also got to be immersed with the K through five kids,” said Lincoln Principal Brad Palmer. “You could just tell the way that would make her day.”
Despite working in a small office with limited space, Palmer said Sanborn came to work with a positive attitude and never complained.
After her time as data technician wraps up, Sanborn looks forward to playing sand volleyball in the summer and indoor volleyball in winter. When she’d not biking with friends and swimming laps at the pool, she plans to do activities with her grandchildren and “just enjoy life.”
“I will miss the people,” said Sanborn. “When I got into technology, I haven’t worked with students as much, but with teachers, staff, paras and custodians.”
When Sanborn did work with students — the majority of her career — most of them were visually impaired. A student from the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind was mainstreamed into Jefferson Elementary in 1986, and Sanborn worked with that child from third to 12th grade.
She worked with several other blind students throughout the years, even exchange students from Japan, the Ukraine and the Soviet Union. She prepared materials to make them tactual for the students to “see” with their hands and learned Braille so she could transcribe print documents.
“I’ve been in pretty much every building in the district with them,” said Sanborn. “In fact, a lot of them still have contact with me.”
When MSAB began keeping blind students on its own campus, Sanborn’s job became obsolete. As a result, she took a new job as a paraprofessional in the FHS media center for several years before becoming a data technician for elementary schools.
“I’ve been very fortunate to work in Faribault Public Schools for 33 years,” said Sanborn. “They’ve been good to me. I’ve enjoyed my career every step of the way.”