Surprise! Celebrating the career of an influential Marquette teacher

When TV6's Andrew LaCombe was a fourth-grader at Superior Hills Elementary School, he brought teacher Cindy Perrin an idea.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 7:50 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - After 38 years of teaching, Friday is the first day of retirement for a teacher who had a significant impact on the career of TV6 News Director Andrew LaCombe.

Twenty-two years after Cindy Perrin was LaCombe’s fourth-grade teacher, he surprised Perrin and returned to her classroom Thursday -- the final day of the school year. The two reflected on a big memory from the 1999-2000 school year.

When LaCombe was a fourth-grader at Superior Hills Elementary School, he brought Perrin an idea. A young fan of TV6, he wanted to start a news broadcast for the school.

“Little did I know he was going to walk in on Friday with jobs for every person,” said Perrin. “Someone was going to be a weather person. Someone was going to be a sports reporter.”

LaCombe even brought in his family’s video camera. Perrin took the idea, and with some help from fellow teachers, she made “Kids on the Air” a reality.

“So at that moment, I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, this is bigger than I thought,’” said Perrin. “From there, we got the technology teacher involved, then Northern Michigan University started helping us. We taught the kids how to write stories, how to do a story, what a TV station looks like, what a teleprompter is, and Kids on the Air evolved into a huge thing that we did for many, many years.”

LaCombe says fourth grade is a year he will always remember because of Perrin and the other teachers who listened to his dreams and made them happen. It’s inspiration that keeps him going today at TV6.

Perrin has now been teaching at Cherry Creek Elementary School. As she begins retirement, Perrin leaves advice for future teachers.

“Remember to always be flexible and have fun,” she said. “Teachers always have new things to learn all the time.”

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