Teaching all about the kids, retirees say | PostIndependent.com

Teaching all about the kids, retirees say

Post Independent/Kelley Cox

Teaching is a wonderful journey. Just ask Susan Rice, a first-grade teacher at Sopris Elementary, who, along with nearly a dozen of her colleagues, stood before fellow teachers to wish them all farewell. Retirement, she said, is “bittersweet.” Roaring Fork School District Re-1 held a banquet Thursday night for teachers and staff who will be retiring at the end of this school year. Each school’s principal spoke about their retiring faculty and gave them an award in recognition of their many years of service.

Most retirees said they’ll miss the students more than anything, but also their colleagues and the joy of affecting students’ lives. Some principals recounted fond memories of the retirees’ years of service. Glenwood Springs High School Principal Paul Freeman, for example, said that when he first met school counselor Bob Willey, he was wearing a dress. And Glenwood Springs Elementary School Assistant Principal Ted Donahue read what a student thought about retiring media teacher and bus driver Bob Shivley: “He’s a bus driver and he gives no-name kids chocolate.”The student who made that statement will no doubt never forget Shivley.

Retiring RFSD Career Center auto tech teacher Bob Shettel said that he’ll miss all the kids, but, “I’ll take with me the memory of all the people I’ve associated with.”And, he said, “I’ve left my hair.”Retiring GSHS foreign language teacher Linda Fitzgerald said she’ll be missing all the teachers and administrators that were at the reception. But, she said of her and her colleagues’ retirement, “Come the end of August is when we will really feel the joy.”In the end, the love of working at GSHS is the kids, Willey said. “The two things you take with you are the kids and all those memories, and then your colleagues,” he said.

Assistant Superintendent Judy Haptonstall called retirement an exciting time for teachers. “When you hear about the 30 years that they’ve given the kids, or the 15 or the 20 and all that time and energy, and I love hearing how their buildings or staffs are families,” she said. “It really is what we’re all about.”Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. 520bmagill@postindependent.com

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