Retired? Not so much

Irene Runnels attended the 2015 OSMI Workshop to learn more about starting an online media publication at her school. She will receive a grant of $7,000 to do so.

by Ashley Gibson Nowata Middle School Adviser

Retired? Not so much.

In the small town of Cache, Oklahoma lives a very active retired teacher, Irene Runnels.

Runnels was born in Cache, Oklahoma on a farm south of town where her parents lived. Not long after marrying her high school sweetheart of almost 50 years now, Runnals’ husband was drafted to the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

After moving around a bit and her husband’s short term in the Army, they found themselves in Kansas where they received their formal education. Runnels received a degree in Elementary Education and minor in Art from Kansas State. She also has a Masters in Education with strength in Special Ed. Runnels said she “knew special education would be mainstreamed.”

After teaching for her fair share of years, she decided to retire in September 2010. Last December, Runnels was asked to come back to work at Indiahoma High School as a full-time substitute and then this year was asked to teach full-time again. She is now teaching half English and half marketing for 9th through 12th grade.

She and her husband have two children. Their oldest is a daughter who teaches 5th grade reading and then a son who teaches high school science after serving a term in the United States Air force. Between their two children they have a total of seven grandchildren

Runnels has been a traveler of the world going to places like Paris, England, and Scotland. She seems to be perfectly content now in her so-called “retirement” in Indiahoma.



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