Alta-Aurelia educators transition into retirement

Friday, July 12, 2019

When you have a passion for a job, that is more than a job, and the time comes to transition to another phase in life, decisions that you need to make can be tough. No other profession knows this more than teachers, where the ones who have spend most of their lives, preparing others to go out into the world, will now be the ones who are making a major change in their life. This year, Alta-Aurelia community schools are losing more than a few teachers to retirement, and some had profound thoughts on closing their careers, and moving on. Think about: being in a community where your job usually goes beyond the acceptable 40 - hour a week standard (try 50 to 60, some weeks), immersing yourself in the culture, and norms for a long period of time, and trying to continually help people move forward in life. Then, suddenly, you have to switch gears to head into another phase on your own journey. Some teachers are good with it, a few have some questions, but most agreed that there is no crystal ball to tell them what to do next.

Terri Zimmerman was with Alta schools for 35 years, most recently serving as their athletic director, and elementary school p.e. instructor. An Oakland, Iowa native(also the hometown of Storm Lake Schools superintendent Stacey Cole), Terri was a pretty good athlete during her school years, and knew she wanted to be a teacher early in life. Besides being an AD, and a teacher, Terri was also a coach over the years, for several sports, in the school district. While the last few days of school were winding down, Terri reflected on her career, and really prefers to look forward to what will happen next. 的知 not sure what I知 going do. My husband and I really enjoy boating, so we are going to take that in as much as we can, and spending time with family. But I知 looking forward to not being scheduled, and looking at the clock thinking I need to be somewhere in a short amount of time. I値l miss the kids, and the staff, that痴 for sure, says Terri. As any teacher can attest to, your job time can be heavily scheduled, and after having a variety of jobs in her teaching career, Terri knows what she is talking about.

Art teacher Jerry Braunschweig, also known as 閃r. B, or simply 腺, has also decided the time is right to pass the reigns along to someone else in the Alta High art department. Jerry also coached during his time at Alta, especially enjoying coaching baseball. Like Terri, Jerry has seen the successful merger of two school districts, new building construction, and the expansion of the student population. Jerry said the last week, especially the last day, was emotional.乃he last day was a bit surreal, bittersweet to say the least. I had a heavy feeling in my gut all day, not unlike what you would get before an athletic event, or artistic performance. I felt prepared, but not sure of what was going to happen. The staff and faculty held a nice retirement party for us, that greatly helped lighten the mood, says Jerry. Jerry said his heart was really touched by the number of former students, and graduates, that stopped by his room to chat, and wish him well. Jerry also says the transition is quite similar to when he started teaching there痴 a great deal of anticipation. The only difference being, is I now have more experience, and resources to draw from, than I did back then. And it痴 certainly nice to be better off financially, says Jerry. A children痴 book collaboration, time to fish, more time to work on his own artwork, run his side business, which are making and selling the Flick Boards product, and time to spend with his growing family look to be on Jerry痴 docket for the future.

The Rule of 88, which is your age plus years of experience, came into play for Alta-Aurelia superintendent Lynn Evans. Iowa teaching statutes give that rule for Iowa teachers, as a guideline to know when would be a good time for retirement. 的 just thought now is the time to go, because I致e had a great career, and it痴 time to move onto to something else, says Lynn, who retired on June 30th. Lynn痴 teaching career has taken him to school districts in Kansas, and Iowa spots such as West Branch, Remsen Union, Saydel, Buffalo Center, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, and Alta-Aurelia. In reminiscing, Lynn looks back on being in the right place, at the right time, and where teaching jobs were offered informally. 的 had a few jobs that started with the phrase 層ant a job? then a handshake, and sometimes no application or resume were needed, says Lynn, smiling at the memory. But now, it痴 time for transition for Lynn, and his wife Midge, and like others, Lynn has been just 喪iding the wave, until his term comes to a close. 擢or a person who has always had a back-up plan, this is unusual for me not to know what is coming next. Working in education is a calling, and you have to have a passion for it to be successful. I feel good that the Alat-Aurelia school district is in good shape financially, the facilities are in good shape, and academically, we look good. Being a superintendent can be a 60 hour a week job at times, but it was very rewarding. I知 looking forward to seeing what happens next, says Lynn. For all the Alta staff who have faithfully served to help educate, and guide others, here痴 a tip of the hat, and raised glass to the next part of your journey.