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District 518 bids farewell to retiring staff

The 16 retirees have a combined 374 years of work with the district.

WORTHINGTON — As the school year draws to a close, 16 employees are retiring from Independent School District 518.

Between them, the 16 retirees have worked in all the district's buildings and have a total of 374 years of experience.

Several of them responded to a questionnaire about their years of service.

Cindy Midgarden Anderson

Cindy Anderson
Anderson

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Job title: WMS choir director & general music teacher

Years of service: 33

Do you have a favorite part of the curriculum to teach your students? What is it, and why do you like it?

I have really enjoyed writing the curriculum and teaching the History of Rock class at Middle School. I have found that it gives my students a better grasp of what was going on in the world and how the music was either shaped by world events or shaped world events. I also think it has given my students a chance to have conversations with their parents and grandparents about the music we are discussing in class. I envision them pulling out the old albums and listening to them together, that warms my heart.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from students?

I've learned that I don't know everything and that's OK. Perhaps what my students have going on in their lives is more important than what I was going to teach today, so let's spend some time working on building trusting and caring relationships. We can always learn more tomorrow.

What are you most looking forward to in retirement? How will you use your time?

I am most looking forward to spending more quality time with my mom, who lives up in North Dakota. It is a six-hour drive, so to have the freedom to go home and not worry about being back for anything specific is exciting. The rest of the time, I plan on staying in Worthington being a church musician, subbing at the Middle School, traveling with my daughter when COVID restrictions finally lift and catching up on long-overdue craft projects.

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Susan Bents

Sue Bents
Bents

Job title: Special Education paraprofessional

Years of service: 17

Do you have a favorite part of the curriculum to teach your students? What is it, and why do you like it?

A lot of the work our Special Education students do is hands-on tasks. It is enjoyable to see that they are able to figure it out.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from students?

Students all learning differently.

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What are you most looking forward to in retirement? How will you use your time?

I am looking forward to not having a set schedule. I plan to help with the grandchildren, do some reading and would like to travel to warmer states in the winter.

Pam Deuel

Pam Deuel
Deuel

Job title: Early Childhood Special Education teacher. Prior to the pandemic, I worked in the homes with children, birth to 3 years old, with disabilities. I provide direct service to them and their families.

Years of service: 33

Do you have a favorite part of the curriculum to teach your students? What is it, and why do you like it?

Early Childhood Special Education is primarily focused on growth and development. I most like encouraging early language and motor skill development in infants and toddlers.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from students?

The most important thing I have learned from working with the families and children I serve is how essential good communication is. We are certainly stronger together as a team. Families, educators and children working together equals measurable progress for the child and empowerment for the families.

What are you most looking forward to in retirement? How will you use your time?

I am most looking forward to unscheduled time! Although I am unsure of what capacity, I would like to volunteer and serve others in some way. I want to spend more time with my family, read, walk, work out in the yard and in my flowerbeds. I also want to explore the art of bread making.

Amy Ebbers

Amy Ebbers
Ebbers

Job title: Autism Spectrum Disorder teacher at Prairie

Years of service: 34

Do you have a favorite part of the curriculum to teach your students? What is it, and why do you like it?

Probably helping them overcome a challenge, or seeing them understand a new task for the first time. Calendar and Music was my favorite. Seeing the students able to choose their favorite song on the smart board.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from students?

If you give them a chance and gain their rapport, they can teach YOU about patience and acceptance.

What are you most looking forward to in retirement? How will you use your time?

Spending more time with family, travel.

Jody Jurgensen

Jody Jurgensen
Jurgensen

Job title: Special Education paraprofessional

Years of service: 2

Do you have a favorite part of the curriculum to teach your students? What is it, and why do you like it?

I love working with students on anything at the moment when they realize that they can do it themselves. That look of excitement and pride on their face is amazing!

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from students?

Be patient. Everything (including learning) happens in its own time.

What are you most looking forward to in retirement? How will you use your time?

Spending more time with my grandkids!

Twyla Lindemann

Twyla Lindemann
Lindemann

Job title: Special Education paraprofessional

Years of service: 28

Do you have a favorite part of the curriculum to teach your students? What is it, and why do you like it?

N/A, not a teacher

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from students?

Every day is interesting, and every student learns a different way. I learned I needed to have a lot of patience!

What are you most looking forward to in retirement? How will you use your time?

Doing what I want to do when I get up in the morning. Spending more time with grandchildren and family, traveling, working outside, helping on the farm, volunteering. I’ll find a part-time job if I have to.

Todd Schumann

Todd Schumann
Schumann

Job title: K-4 Physical Education teacher at Prairie

Years of service: 21

Do you have a favorite part of the curriculum to teach your students? What is it, and why do you like it?

Have always truly enjoyed interacting with students.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from students?

Even the little things are big things to students.

What are you most looking forward to in retirement? How will you use your time?

Staying busy being a grandpa and working part-time.

Bernard Strouth

Bernard Strouth
Strouth

Job title: Social Studies teacher at WHS

Years of service: 26

Do you have a favorite part of the curriculum to teach your students? What is it, and why do you like it?

My favorite classes to teach have been U.S. History and American Government. The interrelationship between the two is what is most interesting. You need to know the basics of American Government in order to truly understand U.S. History. And, you need to know U.S. History to understand the actual workings of American Government.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from students?

Patience. Although important, what happens in the school setting is only a small portion of a student's life. All factors must be considered in helping young people experience academic success.

What are you most looking forward to in retirement? How will you use your time?

I look forward to spending time with family, traveling, reading and possibly continuing my own education.

Kelly Troe

Kelly Troe
Troe

Job title: Fourth-grade teacher at Prairie

Years of service: 34

Do you have a favorite part of the curriculum to teach your students? What is it, and why do you like it?

My favorite part of teaching is to help students find and celebrate their talents.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned from students?

We don’t have to worry about the past. The future is bright!

What are you most looking forward to in retirement? How will you use your time?

Reading. (The Globe?)

Also retiring: Shauna Brignac (24 years), Pat Daggett (12 years), Mary Eshleman (25 years), Ray Lowry, (24 years), Sharen Nelson (four years), Dan Schnelle (22 years), Deb Stoll (35 years)

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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