Students lamented the departure of teachers Sheryl Slothower and Joy Guyer during a "retirement assembly" May 17 at Lake Valley Elementary School, and other schools in the Humboldt Unified School District honored their own retiring teachers and staff this past week.
At LVES, Sheryl Slothower taught sixth-grade and has worked in the Humboldt district for 25 years; Joy Guyer ends her 27-year teaching career after a final seven years with HUSD, the first "few" years in Alaska and other Arizona districts.
Five former students of Guyer's attended the assembly, and a Bradshaw Mountain High School graduating senior, Dakota King, showed up to help send off Slothower.
"I've had her half of my life," King said, adding later that she has been his all-time favorite teacher.
LVES Principal Tusanne Cordes said with a laugh, "I have to admit, it's going to be quiet in the office without Mrs. Slothower."
Fellow veteran teacher Mary Davis said Slothower's dedication to teacher services was admirable, and Davis read her poem called Retiring Teacher's Creed (see box).
Guyer served as a mentor to first-year teachers, one of whom, Gaylee Chilicky, told Guyer she couldn't have gotten through the first year without her.
"Instead of gaining a colleague, I gained a friend," Davis said.
Other retiring teachers are:
Glenda Barczy taught at HES for the past two years, at Coyote Springs for 10 years, and at Lake Valley Elementary for two years, for a total of 14 years with the district.
Bart Brush, who has 11 years of teaching under his belt, with the past five at HES as a music teacher. Brush probably is most well known as the founder and director of the Panda-moniums, a student marimba band. He has offered to loan his equipment to the school and work with whoever is willing to carry on next year. His future plans include remaining in Dewey-Humboldt and restarting a woodworking and blacksmithing business.
Mountain View Elementary
Joan Matheson began working at MVES when it first opened in 1989 as attendance clerk and lunch clerk secretary; she is the last original MVES employee. Recently, she's noticed incoming students are children of the first Mountain View students she served. Matheson said, "When children ask, 'How old are you?' my reply is, 'I'm as old as the school.'" She has enjoyed teaching the children how to knit in the school's Classical Enrichment program.
Jane Del Rio, fifth-grade teacher, retires after 11 years with the district.
Coyote Springs Elementary
Pamelia Hendricks started at HUSD in 1989, and is retiring as a fifth-grade teacher at CSES after 22 years. She's worked at the original Lake Valley School, then Coyote Springs, Glassford Hill Middle School, and back to CSES. While at GHMS, Hendricks developed the sixth-grade gifted language arts program, taught seventh grade social studies for 10 years, mentored new teachers for four years, and was a Meet and Confer member for two years. In the elementary schools, she taught Spalding reading method to teachers for nine years.
Elaine Lickteig, third- grade teacher, is retiring after 13 years with the district - seven years at Lake Valley and six years at Granville. She was a science fair judge for 13 years, and a high percentage of her students each year scored at the Excelling level on the AIMS. She implemented the Math Achievement Club by Rodel for four years at the third-grade level. The Rotary Club selected Lickteig as Teacher of the Year twice.
Glassford Hill Middle School
Myron Hartz finishes his 33rd year of his teaching career, 25 of them with HUSD where he taught 22 years of science and three years of physical education classes at the middle school level. He started at HES when the campus was the junior high, then moved across the highway to Bradshaw Mountain Middle School, and nine years later transferred to Glassford Hill when it became the district's second middle school. Hartz has coached numerous sports and the Chess Club, and created the GHMS Ecology Club. He and his students built bat houses and a plant identification trail at Fain Park, and designed an outdoor area at the back of the school. He also introduced the GHMS Science Tournament in 1998; the 14th annual tournament took place this spring.
Kristin Rex has worked for the district 11 years - always as the GHMS principal. She originally interviewed for the assistant principal position, but the principal moved to the high school and she was promoted to administrator. She earned her Doctorate degree in Education this past summer. Rex has accepted a position as superintendent and high school principal for the Seligman Unified School District.
Bradshaw Mountain High School
Luis Moncada resigned after 15 years with the district. He taught science at the high school and coached baseball and girls basketball.