Current and former Storm Lake School District staff members joined for the annual end-of-the-year breakfast Wednesday. The school year was reflected upon, staff members leaving the district were bid ado and two retiring staff members were honored.
Jan McConnell retired with 16 years as a special education instructional assistant and Sandy Taylor leaves with 27 years years as a second grade teacher with the district.
"Jan's expertise is pretty unusual," commented Lori Porsch. "She has always valued the students. We've appreciated the time you've given the kids and we are glad you have considered this home, even though you live in Early, and decided to stay in Storm Lake," she said. She and her husband Dick were wished all the best.
Taylor graduated from Storm Lake and went to Augustana College for a year, returning to assist in the family-run grocery store. She completed her education at Buena Vista College and did her student teaching in the first grade room at East School where there were 36 students - a stupendous number in comparison to the lower and much more pleasing numbers aimed for in today's classrooms.
After graduation she taught in the Sioux Valley District for a short time and returned to teach in Storm Lake. Throughout the years she shared her love of education at North, East and South.
"That's a lot of time," said South School Principal Ed Rude. "She has touched the lives of many second graders."
Jessa Rhea, daughter of Jill Rhea, was present to read a letter she wrote to the teacher she had this school year.
"For you retirement, this is a letter all about you. You are a wonderful teacher. You mean so much to us. You make us want to be our best and keep learning for all of our lives.
"You work so hard to make learning fun for us. You create games for us, laugh with us and teach us interesting things. You talk to us like we are important and you make us feel like you really care about us.
"You are very, very smart. you are funny and thoughtful. You have encouraged us all to have better lives in the world. You are an awesome teacher.
"One thing about me, I will always remember you and be thankful I had you as my second grade teacher. Thank you so much for all you do and all you are.
"I hope you have a great summer. Love, Jessa."
Taylor and her husband Dave plan to spend time with their family and get in plenty of golfing.
Each of the retirees received a special plaque from the school district and a gift from the Storm Lake Education Association.
Staff members leaving the district are Frank Rozmus, Julia Pick, Laura Pierce, Julia Mason, Angie Snyder, Kristin Leng, Abby Julin, Kathleen Hansen, Sevond Cole, Jeff Brennan, Maricella Leiva. Special recognition was made to Roberta Moore, who has resigned. She has served as the challenge teacher and the National History Day advisor.