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Looking back with admiration; Looking forward with anticipation. Tuesday May 7, 2013 District 191 Retirement Reception

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District 191 honors retiring employees with a small ceremony each spring.


Page 1: 2013 Retiree Program

Looking back with admiration;

Looking forward with anticipation.


May 7, 2013

District 191 Retirement Reception

Page 2: 2013 Retiree Program

In Their Own Words.

We invited all of this year’s retirees to voluntarily

offer up some information about themselves. Most did.


Teacher, M.W. Savage Elementary

Most Rewarding Experience: The thing that always touches me most is when a former student contacts me and sends a piece of writing or a poem. They know that I will al-ways be curious about their lives and proud

of their accomplishments. Favorite ISD 191 Story: Since we all know how hectic it can be getting out of the house and into the classroom in the morning, I still laugh when I remember the story of a cohort who sprayed her hair with leather protector rather than hair spray. She had REALLY shiny hair that day!


Technology Educational Assistant,

M.W. Savage Elementary

Favorite ISD 191 Story: When MWS first had a new computer lab installed with iMacs, Pro-ject KIDS would come in before school to use the computers. One little but confident five-year-old boy named Billy wasn't quite sure about computers and how they worked. He marched into the lab and asked as he perused the room, "Where’s the internet cause I'm not supposed to get on it?"


Educational Assistant, Rahn Elementary

Diane started work as an educational assistant

in District 191 in 2004.

Page 3: 2013 Retiree Program

District Retirees Share.

Please enjoy reading the personal remembrances and

future plans of our esteemed group of honorees.


Speech/Language Pathologist,

Central Cluster

Most Rewarding Experience: Quite a few years ago I had the opportunity to help one of my students (and his family) obtain a surgical procedure for a serious condition that had impeded his growth and development. As a Laotian family new to the U.S., they were unaware of his unique medical needs. This experience opened many doors for my student, provided support for his family and added much joy to my work. That's what it's all about, isn't it! Favorite ISD 191 Story: I have many stories - but probably shouldn't put them in writing!


Teacher, M.W. Savage Elementary

Favorite ISD 191 Story: Teaching children to read and love books has brought me the greatest joy! Retirement Plans: My husband works in Atlanta, so I'm going to try spending more time in the South. When he is not working, we plan to travel more and spend time with our new granddaughter, who will be born in August.


Due Process Clerk, Central Cluster

Julie has served District 191 students for 17


Page 4: 2013 Retiree Program


School Nurse, St. John’s Elementary

Carol has been a District 191 employee for 7 years.


Teacher, Sioux Trail Elementary

Most Rewarding Experience: The most re-

warding experiences of my career have been

the amazingly talented and dedicated people

I have had the privilege of working with!!


Teacher, Early Childhood Special Ed

Sue has served District 191 students for 27



Teacher, Edward Neill Elementary

Most Rewarding Experience: The most re-

warding gift I have received from this job is

my daughter. In 1985, I was teaching first

grade at Vista View and I met a beautiful

and challenging young girl. She was living in

a foster home in the area, her third since experiencing an abu-

sive family as an infant. It was during that year that the county

decided to seek a permanent placement for her. It was also that

year that we decided to become that permanent placement. We

adopted her and began this journey that still continues. The

journey now includes her seven children (our grandchildren) and

the two young adults that she adopted.

Page 5: 2013 Retiree Program


Principal, Sky Oaks Elementary

Most Rewarding Experience: The opportuni-

ty to work with students and to see them

accomplish things that they didn't know they

could do is what comes to mind. Teaching

reading to reluctant readers and seeing them

develop a love for books, putting on a Shake-

speare play with students and seeing a quiet student become a

star, helping students work through challenging math problems

and having them get the "right" answer — all of these experienc-

es are memories that I will treasure forever.

Plans for Retirement: Travel, spend time with family, read

books just for fun, and seek out opportunities to continue to help



Custodian, Edward Neill Elementary

Bill has served District 191 students for 17



Associate Principal, Burnsville High School

Gary served students in District 191 for 13


Page 6: 2013 Retiree Program


Assistant Cook, Gideon Pond Elementary

Most Rewarding Experience: Just being in

food service and working in two great kitch-

ens, Eagle Ridge and Gideon Pond. The kids

were very special to me and still remember

me when I'm subbing at school. That means a

lot to me.

Retirement Plans: We babysit our grandson when needed,

work at our church, and do things that my husband and I enjoy



Teacher, Vista View Elementary

Most Rewarding Experience: It is always re-

warding when junior and senior high students

come back to the elementary school and look

you up to say “Hi” and let you know how they

are doing.

Retirement Plans: I would like to travel: tour New Zealand with

a college roommate who is a missionary/ESL teacher in Thailand,

and do a train trip across part of Canada to Banff with another

college roommate. I would also like to do some short term mis-

sion trips to third-world countries and maybe help in orphanages

or with some building projects. I also plan to do some subbing

the first two years.

Page 7: 2013 Retiree Program


Media Specialist, Eagle Ridge Junior High

Most Rewarding Experience: Turning students

on to great literature … finding the right book

for the right kid … seeing their eyes light up

and smiles on their faces when I hand deliver

books to them … parents telling me that their

child is finally reading. Also watching quality teaching at every

school I was in and developing professional and personal relation-

ships with so many wonderful colleagues.

Favorite ISD 191 Story: Nominating Joe Meyer for the "Fox 9 Top

Teacher Award" and then surprising him with the Fox News team

here at Eagle Ridge.


Secretary, Metcalf Junior High

Most Rewarding Experience: Working at

Metcalf for all of these years, with great

staff and students.

Retirement Plans: Enjoy time with the

grandkids … Madison & Henry. My husband

Ron and I will now take trips by car and not by air, to enjoy the

sights. No hurry to get back to work now! Enjoy time at the lake!


Teacher, Sky Oaks Elementary

Most Rewarding Experience: Working with the

staff at each school, the families and especial-

ly the 5- and 6-year olds. The dynamics of the

district and families have really changed over

my career, but the energy and enthusiasm of

the kindergartners have not!

Retirement Plans: Travel - spend lots of time with family and

visit or revisit interesting places and cultures.

Page 8: 2013 Retiree Program


Secretary, Nicollet Junior High

Most Rewarding Experience: Developing life

-long friendships.

Favorite ISD 191 Story: The aftermath of

the burst water pipe Nov. 2010 - AKA "The


Retirement Plans: Spoil the grandkids, do crossword and Sudoku

puzzles, read, work on ancestry and listen to bluegrass music.


Custodian, Harriet Bishop & M.W. Savage

Stephen has served students in District 191

for 24 years.


Teacher, Sioux Trail Elementary

Favorite ISD 191 Story: One of the first

times I tried to sing with my first graders,

one little boy covered his ears. He was so

right! I never did improve, but that didn't

stop me. Art is my area of expertise. I am a

staunch supporter of the arts in school.

Retirement Plans: I am looking forward to golfing on beautiful

fall days with my husband. Hopefully, there will be many excit-

ing travels in my future. I plan on training my new little puppy

(pictured with me) to become a therapy dog. I am transferring

the venue for my love of children and books to hospitals. Brandi

and I will be visiting and reading to children next year when she

gains enough skills to pass the therapy dog certification test. I

love to watercolor and will be taking many workshops in that

area. Just having more time to spend with family and friends will

be amazing.

Page 9: 2013 Retiree Program


Management Educational Assistant,

Early Childhood Special Education

Most Rewarding Experience: Working with

the children! I will miss them and my co-



Director of Federal Programs

Favorite ISD 191 Story: One of many memo-

rable experiences was a span of time when I

read to and socialized with a non-verbal first

grader. My working with the student bol-

stered his belief in himself and a sense of comfort/trust with his

school. I had the joy of hearing him begin to talk with his class-

mates and to see his confidence soar.

Retirement Plans: I look forward to volunteering more, spending

time with family and friends, fly fishing and traveling.


Teacher, Gideon Pond Elementary

Most Rewarding Experience: Working with

some of the most talented teachers district-

wide was very rewarding. But the best part is

working with the kids. There is nothing better than seeing a stu-

dent rise from struggling to excelling and to know that you

helped them get there! I will miss these students and their fami-

lies VERY much.

Retirement Plans: I am moving to California to be near my 88

year old mother and my brother-in-law who recently lost his

wife. He has two kids at home still (6 and 13) and needs help. I

will be living in the San Diego area, near the beach, which can't

be beat! I am also planning on writing a few books that have

been mulling around in my brain the last few years.

Page 10: 2013 Retiree Program


Reading Interventionist, Nicollet Junior High

Favorite ISD 191 Story: One of my favorite

stories dates back to when I taught first grade

at Neill Elementary. I became concerned when

one of my boys was in the class bathroom for

several minutes. I heard the sound of flushing over and over. I

tapped on the door and asked if he was alright. He replied: "Yes.

I wanted to get a drink out of the water fountain, but the sign

says 'Flush 10 minutes before drinking.'" Every time I see that sign

it makes me smile.

Retirement Plans: I've heard from my retired colleague friends

that it takes the first year to figure out what you want to do af-

ter retirement. For now, that's my plan!


Teacher, Burnsville High School

Most Rewarding Experience: The most re-

warding experience of my career is actually

multiple experiences of the same event.

There is nothing quite like the moment when

a student's face lights up and says "I get it!" I have had many such

heart-warming experiences and I am extremely grateful for hav-

ing them.

Favorite ISD 191 Story: My favorite 191 story is actually a story

of tragedy. It involves getting the call that there was a fire that

swept through the high school that was started by an intruder (I

think it was 1995). Walking the halls afterwards to retrieve a few

things was a moment when my heart just sank. I felt like I had

been kicked in the stomach. The remainder of the school year

found me teaching from 6-10 a.m. at Sky Oaks Elementary

School. Think about big students in those small desks!

Page 11: 2013 Retiree Program

2013 Retirees

Sharon Andrews

Kathryn Barzee

Diane Beal

Carol Berg

Julie Bethel

Laurie Biagini

Carol Blum

Debra Brandon

Sue Breun

Kathryn Estes

Kay Fecke

William Gibbons

Gary Hamilton

Debra Heid

Debra Hubbard

Jean Klatte

Paulette Kruger

Jeanne Lunden

Judy McDonald

Stephen Mead

Nancy Mosher

Susan O’Conner

Doug Steele

Rebecca Taylor

Judy Thone

Jeff Wersal-LaVelle

Thank You!

Page 12: 2013 Retiree Program

Our schools will …

Empower Learning,

Energize Achievement,

Embrace Community

Each Student Real-World-Ready

100 River Ridge Ct., Burnsville, MN 55337 • www.isd191.org