During an outdoor ceremony at Salina Stadium Sunday afternoon, Salina Unified School District 305 recognized members set to retire at the end of this school year.
Families, friends and even previous students were on hand to celebrate over 30 teachers and faculty with up to 41 years of service in the district.
Superintendent Linn Exline began the recognition ceremony by thanking everyone for coming out to the stadium for the celebration and reminding everyone, particularly the retirees, about the importance of education to the community.
“We can all take great pride in our students’ accomplishments and the gains we are making as a school district,” Exline said. “However we can take even greater pride in the dedicated service of our staff. Throughout your careers, you have devoted yourselves to some of the most worthwhile work in the world.”
A lifetime in the district
For some, the dedication to the district started before they even began working for it.
Dee Schoof, who spent 31 years employed with USD 305 most recently as a library assistant at Schilling Elementary School, said she grew up in Salina and graduated from Salina High School in 1970 before the school was changed to Salina Central.
“Yeah, I’ve been here the whole time,” Schoof said.
She said the best part about working with kids was watching them grow in their skills and knowledge.
“My boss and I encourage the children to read…then you get to see them grow and then they can read,” Schoof said. “I mean it’s really cool. You don’t want to let them go.”
A common plan ahead
The program for the ceremony listed each teacher and faculty member that was retiring with information about their time at the district and what their plans in retirement were. One common thread was found throughout many of the retirees’ future plans, rest and relaxation.
“I’ll probably relax for a while,” said Ben Rohrer, band teacher at Central High.
Rohrer has been with the district for 27 years and has been teaching even longer.
“It’s probably time,” Rohrer said. “(It’s been) 41 years in the business and that’s long enough.”
He said one thing he’s looking forward to doing in his retirement is spending time with his family as well as taking some time to do some yard work.
“I’ve got a big yard, with lots of dandelions,” he said.
Glad to ‘say yes’ to a ceremony
After the ceremony, Exline said she was excited to be able to have this event, especially since the pandemic forced them to not have a large event for retirees last year.
“I’m just glad we were able to say yes and do some of these celebrations,” Exline said. “This is a huge celebration for these people who have spent their entire careers with us.”
In all 36 teachers and staff were recognized for their service as they are set to retire. These dedicated Salina School staff are:
- Peggy Acheson – 20 years with USD 305
- Denise Bennett – 25 years with USD 305
- Carol Bossemeyer – 29 years with USD 305
- Jill A. Brown – 15 years with USD 305
- Linda Carl – 25 years with USD 305
- Jan Denning – 31 years with USD 305
- Denise D. Dresie – 29 years with USD 305
- Patty B. Emme – 29 years with USD 305
- Anne Gagnon – 30 years with USD 305
- Micheal Goll – 32 years with USD 305
- Debbie Graham – 14 years with USD 305
- Debbie Hoggatt – 15 years with USD 305
- Mary Johnson – 27 years with USD 305
- Nancilee Jones – 25 years with USD 305
- Debra Kohn – 7 years with USD 305
- Cynthia Lanterman – 18 years with USD 305
- Gina L. Lee – 30 years with USD 305
- Jane Maresch – 29 years with USD 305
- Carla Moore – 14 years with USD 305
- Sarah Morris – 31 years with USD 305
- Lisa Ochs – 24 years with USD 305
- Heidi J. Paquin – 34 years with USD 305
- Marcia Penrod – 30 years with USD 305
- Linda Pitts – 18 years with USD 305
- Jeff Platt – 29 years with USD 305
- Ceal Priddy – 10 years with USD 305
- Linda Reyes – 30 years with USD 305
- Susan Rice – 35 years with USD 305
- Cheryl Ritter – 41 years with USD 305
- Ben Rohrer – 27 years with USD 305
- Dee K. Schoof – 31 years with USD 305
- Lonny H. Schropp – 22 years with USD 305
- Kathryn Snell – 17 years with USD 305
- David Thompson – 15 years with USD 305
- Marlene Walker – 26 years with USD 305
- Bonnie Welty – 5 years with USD 305