Honoring local teachers | PostIndependent.com

Honoring local teachers

Leighton S. Wood, who owned and operated Mid-Continent Resources, believed that the only true natural resource is a human mind and hoped that miners children would not be confined to a job in the mine because of finances. So when he died in 1965, he left an endowment to his trustees that would help fund educational opportunities for working-class people.He was a pragmatist, said trustee Jim Reeves. He believed education is a return investment like no other enterprise.The L.S. Wood Charitable trust honored teacher-of-the-year recipients and nominees April 24 at Exclamation Point restaurant at the Glenwood Caverns. Lorie Beattie Courier and Kelly Bina, along with Kim Kosht, Becky Lange, Heather Knighton, Patty Thayn and Nancy Boyer, were selected by their co-workers as among the best in their profession.Don Parkison, who is administrator of the trust, began the evening with a pop quiz. Are you a true elementary teacher? he asked them.Do you ask dinner guests if they remembered their mittens when they leave your house? Do you move your dinner partners glass away from the edge of the table? Do you say things twice?Ivy Crymble would have passed the test, but she needed an object lesson to secure her retirement decision.Recently when Crymble sat down to record grades, she reached for her eyeglasses and saw that the chain was tangled. The problem, as she soon discovered, was that she needed another pair of glasses to help her see to unravel the ones she really needed. This made her realize one thing: Its time to retire, she confessed to a colleague.Crymble was among 16 other educators honored at a retirement party the school district held on May 6 at the Hotel Colorado.While area schools lose a veteran group of outstanding teachers this year, the most radical changes in store may be for the retirees themselves.After 40 years as a teacher, JoEllen White thought about her impending freedom. I may get my hair done in the middle of the day, instead of at 5, she said. School librarian Judy Tirpack is excited about the prospect of not having to be somewhere at 8 in the morning, not packing lunches and snacks and not making plans a year ahead of time. She also hinted that there might be a Barnes & Noble in her future as she plans to move to Grand Junction. This fall Ann English plans to set sail on a cruise with her husband. Les Miserables served as Jeannie Millers swan song. What a way to go out! said principal Mike Wells.As they sail off to new horizons, open new chapters and enter new seasons in their own lives, Lorie Beattie Courier thought about her future.There are many songs to be sung, she said.

Honored teachers, from left, JoEllen White, of Glenwood, taught third grade for 41 years; Libby McNeill, of Glenwood, taught for 26 years; and Ann English, of Glenwood, taught for 38 years.

From left, Re-2 district teacher of the year, Kelly Bina, of Rifle, teaches first grade at Highlands Elementary and her husband, Ted, works at Columbine Ford.

Honored educators from left, Jeannie Miller, of Rifle, taught music for 32 years; Barbara Hayduk, of Glenwood, was financial secretary for 25 years, and April Walker, of Glenwood, taught for 25 years.

From left, David Kosht, of Rifle, teaches history at Rifle High School; honored teacher Kim Kosht, of Rifle, teaches kindergarten at Wamsley Elementary; and Eva Pasiewicz, of Battlement Mesa, is principal at Wamsley Elementary.

Honored teachers, from left, Ivy Crymble, of Cattle Creek, taught for 30 years; Janie Crisp, of Battlement Mesa, taught for 37 years; and Judy Tirpack, of Glenwood, was the librarian for 38 years.

From left, Jackie Pack, of New Castle, is music teacher at Kathryn Senor Elementary; honored teacher Nancy Boyer, of Glenwood, teaches K-4 reading at Basalt Elementary; and Suzanne Wheeler-DelPiccolo, of El Jebel is principal at Basalt Elementary

From left, Mark Knighton, of New Castle, teachers seventh and eighth-grade English at Rifle Middle School; honored teacher Heather Knighton, of New Castle, teaches fourth grade at Kathryn Senor; and Bill Zambelli, of Glenwood, is principal at Kathryn Senor Elementary.

From left, Tom Whitmore, of Rifle, is parks director for the city of Rifle; Lisa Whitmore, of Rifle, is principal at Roy Moore Elementary and honored teacher Becky Lange, of Glenwood is special education teacher at Roy Moore Elementary.

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