Students show support for Miami teacher

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

MIAMI, Ariz. -- Students of Miami High School, near Globe, are showing their support for a long time, beloved teacher who had to stop instructing them unexpectedly.

They staged a walkout from school on Wednesday in honor of Cherry Roberds, who retired years ago, but returned on an annual basis to keep teaching.

"We wanted a voice, and to show our support for her," said student, Aaron Hockaday.

Parents don't necessarily condone the walk out, but they tell 3TV they understand. 

"She did so many great things over the years for students, so we just want to make sure she's treated fairly," said parent Tammy Sandner.

Under Arizona law, retired teachers who come back to work in rural areas aren't guaranteed the position each year.  Roberds was the longest serving teacher out of eight that were affected by the change. 

She taught for the Miami School District for 48 years. 

"I advertised the positions, and we are still conducting interviews.  We had a former student who went to college, then returned to the area, and she is one of the applicants," said superintendent Sherry Dorathy.

Dorathy and several other faculty and staff members tell 3TV that they hold Roberds in the same high regard as students, and parents, but that they simply have to look out for the best interest of the school district for years to come amid a tight budget crunch. 

Part of the reason for the law is that it's typically difficult to recruit teachers in rural areas, so when a district does, retaining the instructor is a top priority.