With her booming voice, Regina L. Hutchison certainly grabbed her young students' attention.
But it wasn't the decibels that prepared them for the next grade or made her one of the most beloved teachers for 40 years at Greenwich Township Elementary School, where she was primarily a second-grade teacher.
It was her interactive teaching method, which mothers and fathers now in their 30s and 40s vividly remember as if her class were yesterday.
Mrs. Hutchison, 69, of Gibbstown, died of lung cancer Thursday, June 3, at her home.
"She would let us write on the chalkboard, erase it, and wash it," said former student Sheree Matelyan of Gibbstown.
Addition is one of second graders' main challenges. Mrs. Hutchison would teach her class how to add with taffy, balls, and other objects, Matelyan said. Then, on Fridays, students played with Monopoly money.
"Your kid had learned when he or she left her classroom," said Matelyan, who was in Mrs. Hutchison's class in 1979.
Matelyan was thrilled when her son, Joseph, was placed in Mrs. Hutchison's second-grade class in 2001. "She was still old-school. . . . She still taught addition the same way," Matelyan said.
Most lifelong Gibbstown residents had children or knew of children who were taught by Mrs. Hutchison, she said.
Mrs. Hutchison "knew you no matter where she was," Matelyan said. "She remembered your maiden name, married name, kid's name."
Another former student, Kelly Hickman Walsh, now a teacher herself at Marlton Middle School, said she constantly thinks of how orderly Mrs. Hutchison kept all the students in her 1977 class. Walsh has tried those disciplinary techniques in her own classroom.
Mrs. Hutchison taught second grade from 1968 to about 2003 and then went on to third and fourth grades for a few years before retiring in 2008.
Outside the classroom, she was very involved in contract negotiations between the teachers' union and the school board, said her husband, Kenneth, whom she married in 1966.
Mrs. Hutchison also collected items from antique furniture to porcelain tea strainers, her husband said.
Born Regina Yandach, Mrs. Hutchison lived in Paulsboro through her early adult life.
After graduating from Paulsboro High School in the late 1950s, she worked at the Penn Mutual life insurance company while taking evening classes at Rutgers University-Camden toward her bachelor's degree.
"She knew she wanted to be a teacher," her husband said. "She worked hard to pay" for her education.
She eventually quit her Penn Mutual job to focus on teaching. For about a year each, she worked as a substitute teacher at H.B. Wilson Elementary School in Camden and in the West Deptford School District.
Mrs. Hutchison received her bachelor of arts degree from Rutgers in 1967 and a master's in 1972 from Glassboro State College.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Hutchison is survived by brothers Franklin R. and Kevin E. Yandach.
A viewing will be held from 9 to 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, June 9, at St. John's Catholic Church, Beacon Avenue, Paulsboro. A Funeral Mass will follow at 10:30 at the church. Interment will be at Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro.