Eight staff members retire from Glenwood City School District

GC SCHOOL RETIREES

THE GLENWOOD CITY School District had eight staff members retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year. The retirees, pictured above, were honored for their years of service at a ceremony held May 9. Retirees include, from left to right: Rick Tiberg, Lorna Tiberg, Diane Nelson, Sandy Utphall, Joanie Brannigan, Kris Kielmeyer, Carol McCarthy and Mary Mahoney. —photo submitted

GLENWOOD CITY — This past June not only saw the end of another school year for the Glenwood City School District but the retirement of eight valued staff members.

Teachers Diane Nelson, Joanie Branigan, Sandy Utphall, Lorna Tiberg and Kris Kielmeyer along with support staff members Carol McCarthy, Mary Mahoney and Rick Tiberg retired from the District following the final day of school on June 6.

The Tribune Press Reporter sent questionnaires to all eight retirees about their careers in education.

Below are the responses that were received from five of those retirees. Diane Nelson, Joanie Branigan and Kris Kielmeyer did not return questionnaires.

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TEACHING STAFF

Lorna Tiberg

• Where are you from originally? Where did you go to school? Clintonville, Wisconsin, Clintonville High School, UW-Eau Claire-undergraduate UW-River Falls-graduate

• How many years did you teach at Glenwood City and what subject or grade level did you teach? 29 years total, 3rd grade for 3 years, 4th grade for 26 years

• Did you teach anywhere else before coming to Glenwood City? Boyceville School District -3 years, Student Teaching in Chetek and New Richmond

• Why did you decide to go into teaching and/or why did you decided on your particular area of expertise? My 6th grade Teacher, Mrs. Konrad, inspired me to teach and specialize in Social Studies. She made learning so fun and made me believe in myself.

• What are some of the changes you have noticed over the years in your subject or in education in general or how has the school itself changed? I started teaching in the lowest level of the Hill School. We called it the dungeon. My third graders were thrilled to have their own bathroom. Then, we moved over to our new school at Christmas break. I have been in this same classroom( Room 211) ever since teaching fourth graders. I have loved every minute with my students.

• What did you like best about teaching in Glenwood City? I love when my former students come down to visit and recall their 3rd or 4th grade experience. That is when I really feel that I have made a positive impact on so many lives. I feel so appreciated and loved.

• Tell me about an event or a project or some aspect of your teaching career that you will never forget. My students all seem to remember the Native American projects, Wisconsin Alphabet book, Health body system projects, Regional Floats, Young Author books, and many more.

What will you miss about teaching or about your students? I will miss all the hugs from my students and the AHA moments when they understand a new concept for the first time.

• What are you looking forward to doing after you retire? RELAX, spend more time with my family, travel and visit with friends, and long weekends up at the cabin.

Sandy Utphall

• Where are you from originally? Where did you go to school? I grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and attended Memorial High School. My undergraduate years were spent at University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with an Art education minor. After I began teaching first grade in Glenwood City, I earned a Master of Science degree in Education from University of Wisconsin – Stout.

• How many years did you teach at Glenwood City and what subject or grade level did you teach? I began as a substitute teacher in 1987. In the Spring of 1988 I was hired to teach first grade. I have taught in Glenwood City for 31 years and have taught grades 1, 2, 3, and 4. One year I taught a 3-4 split grade.

• Did you teach anywhere else before coming to Glenwood City? I have taught in the Superior School District and also in the Menomonie School District.

• Why did you decide to go into teaching and/or why did you decided on your particular area of expertise? My husband’s family comes from a long line of educators. John’s grandmother was a teacher in Knapp and Menomonie, His mother taught in the Eau Claire District and John taught music in Menomonie for 28 years. I was also greatly influenced by my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Sadie Adler, while attending Immaculate Conception School in Eau Claire. I am very proud of my profession!

• What are some of the changes you have noticed over the years in your subject or in education in general or how has the school itself changed? Technology has greatly influenced the education process and student access most of their information from Internet sources now. Learning from textbooks is practically nonexistent. There is also a great deal more paperwork associated with teaching when compared to thirty years ago.

• What did you like best about teaching in Glenwood City? I really loved the families and the wonderful children. I have also worked with some wonderful, caring people who I will miss dearly. They are like family!

• Tell me about an event or a project or some aspect of your teaching career that you will never forget. Often when a student is struggling, it is frustrating for both teacher and child. The day the “lightbulb comes on” is a special moment! It is always a hug worthy event! It never gets old!

• What will you miss about teaching or about your students? I will miss seeing the children every day. However, I hope to find new adventures that involve children.

• What are you looking forward to doing after you retire? I am still making a list but, I look forward to a slower pace, spending more time with my family, walking the dog, reading, traveling and volunteering.

SUPPORT STAFF

Carol McCarthy

• What was your position with the school district and for how many years? Paraprofessional for 28 years.

• Describe your duties. Duties are to help students with notes, read tests, help with assignments, monitor behavior, and supervision.

• What are some of the changes you have noticed over the years in the position or the job duties or changes in general? Some changes over the years are the use of technology, cell phones, discipline, and security.

• What did you like best about working in the school district? Why? Things I liked best was helping students be successful so they can believe in themselves.

• What are you going to miss the most? Why? I will miss the students, my coworkers, and seeing my grandchildren everyday at work.

• What was something memorable that happened while you were on the job? My most memorable experience was when a freshmen class was about to take a test and the teacher asked if anyone would like to have the test read. Nearly half the class got up. Later, I asked why they chose to do that. They told me it was to support those students in special education.

• What are you looking forward to doing in your retirement? My plan for retirement is to travel, go to the cabin more often, read more, garden, relax, and spend more time with family.

Mary Mahoney

• What was your position with the school district and for how many years? I have been a Para Educator with the Glenwood City School District for the past 24 years.

• Describe your duties. I worked mainly with special needs children. My job is to help them overcome their needs using sign language, sensory breaks, special writing materials, understanding their behaviors or whatever I could to help my student succeed.

• What are some of the changes you have noticed over the years in the position or the job duties or changes in general? The obvious change is the technology available to help Special Ed. and Regular Ed. students. Communication is the key to most things.

• What did you like best about working in the school district? Why? The things I loved best about my job is first of all being with the kids. Getting to know them and getting their hugs. Never enough hugs! This job also was a great outlet for my artistic side. There was always a project to do at school. Art is a great form of communication.

• What are you going to miss the most? Why? I am going to miss the kids. Simply walking down any hallway and getting a greeting, wave or hug was the best. Perks of working here have been being able to see my kids and grandkids during their day. I will also miss my friends otherwise known as my coworkers.

• What was something memorable that happened while you were on the job? There have been many moments. The time when the ‘Ah-Ha moment’ happened with a student. The Teacher I was working with and I did a high five and a happy dance because of our efforts. The field trip where I had to reprimand my screaming, non speaking student in the middle of a shopping mall using sign language!! One of my hearing challenged students couldn’t find me to help with her hearing aids. She just stood in the middle of the hallway by the office, screaming my name!!

• What are you looking forward to doing in your retirement? In retirement I am looking forward to pursuing my crafty side, sewing, embroidering, etc. My husband and I will be taking more motorcycle trips and just spending time with my family and grandkids. Mostly, sleeping in until 7 am and drinking my morning coffee sitting down on a chair not in the car!!!

Rick Tiberg

• What was your position with the school district and for how many years? Computer Tech – 18 years, Coach Middle School Boys and Girls Basketball, Head High School Track Coach.

• Describe your duties. Manage the computers, servers, phones, printers, and other electronic devices. Support for the staff.

• What are some of the changes you have noticed over the years in the position or the job duties or changes in general? Computers have become smaller, faster and more efficient. Chromebooks, Ipads and Interactive White Boards have been added to each classroom. Lots more online service and social media.

• What did you like best about working in the school district? Why? I like working with the staff and kids, learning new things, and troubleshooting.

• What are you going to miss the most? Why? Relieving the staff from their electronic anxieties. I will also miss coaching basketball and track.

• What was something memorable that happened while you were on the job? Getting frantic calls from staff that my computer will not turn on, only to subsequently resume working as usual when I appear in their classroom. Coaching the boys 4×100 relay team to a state title.

• What are you looking forward to doing in your retirement? I will be running my own lawn care and stump grinding business. On my days off I hope to go fishing as much as possible. [/emember_protected]

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