The North Judson-San Pierre School staff recently honored 10 retirees at their end-of-the-school year breakfast. At the same time, they also recognized 33 staff for years of service.
Retiring from North Judson-San Pierre Elementary School are Nila Beauchamp, Shirley Bukowski and Betty Warner. From the Middle School, retirees are Bill Gustafson, Murry Hight, Bill Ransom and Barb Rausch. Retiring from the High School are Bob Bell and David Vessely and James “Art” Dolezal is retiring from the maintenance department.
These nine educators have a combined 296.5 years of service with only 15 years spent teaching at a school system other than at North Judson-San Pierre Schools.
Athletic Director David Vessely retired from the school system after serving a total of 38 years; 29 of those years as athletic director. He was also Transportation Director for the last 12 years. Mr. Vessely began his North Judson-San Pierre career in 1975 as a high school business teacher. He combined teaching with the AD position for five years. Before joining the North Judson-San Pierre School family, Mr. Vessely spent four years in the military and two years at Kankakee Valley Schools.
Ms. Beauchamp spent her entire 40 year career with the NJSP schools teaching third, fourth, gifted and talented, and ending up with first grade.
Mr. Bell spent nine years as the industrial technology teacher at the high school after teaching 12 years in another school system.
Mrs. Bukowski taught all of her 27 years at North Judson-San Pierre with her first year in first grade then finishing up as a second grade teacher.
Betty Warner’s total of 28 years began as a third grade teacher at Liberty Elementary for 12 years; she then turned her talents to the Title 1 program helping many students to improve their educational skills.
Bill Gustafson, or Mr. “G” as he’s known to his students, has spent 36.5 years all in the North Judson-San Pierre Junior High science program.
Mr. Ransom, who has taught for 36 years all at the North Judson-San Pierre Junior High, pointed out that all of the math teachers in the North Judson-San Pierre school system (except Mr. Kellam) have spent time in his classroom as students. He also shared that he will be making his 3,000th skydiving jump this summer.
Ms. Hight, has spent all of her 35 years in teaching at the North Judson-San Pierre Schools teaching junior high physical education and health.
Mrs. Rausch who has taught for 35 years, all at the North Judson-San Pierre Schools, spent most of her years teaching at the elementary school, but ended up the last few at the Middle School.
Mrs. Rausch, Mrs. Bukowski and Mrs. Warner, supported by Mr. Gustafson and Mr. Ransom, entertained the staff with their plans of retirement cruises, massages, and other relaxing pastimes. They also included habits they could now give up forever, that have been a part of their teaching lives for so long.
Staff achieving years of service pins were recognized by Superintendent Lynn Johnson, High School Principal Annette Zupin, Middle School Principal Kelly Shepherd, and Elementary School Principal Michael McBride. These staff were:
5 year awards – Jamie Shell, Kelly Surma, Christy Weist, Beth Ammons, Ryan Bales, Carolyn DeSabatine, Carol Fasel, Pat Brown, Jackie Scholz, and Linda Harrison.
10 years of service: Katrina Harper, Barb Hart, Tammy Hopkins, Roxanne Minix, Carrie Howard, Clayton Howard, Nancy Hubbard, and Frank Krulik.
15 years of service: Pam Croll, Denise Dunn, Kathy Mattraw, Ann Lawson, Sue Long, and Colleen McCarthy.
Donna Ness was recognized for having 20 years of service. Jackie Archer was recognized for 25 years, Wes Chinworth for 30 years, Sharon Hochstedler and Diana Thompson were recognized for 35 years.
Receiving standing ovations for still active service were teachers Theresa Minix and David Kellam for 40 years, and Gaston Combs for 45 years as a bus driver for the school system.
Story and picture submitted by M.J. Zembala.