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SMEA Retirement 2021 Flipbook PDF

SMEA Retirement 2021




SMEA Retirees 2021

SMEA Retirement Preface I- Welcome to what would have been the 49th annual SMEA celebration! The SMEA is proud to honor individuals who have not only made a commitment to enriching a community, and a school district, but whose dedication and passion for improving our students' lives far exceed the classroom. It is wonderful people like you throughout the field of education who make it possible for the youth of South Milwaukee to have a chance to live the life that they should be able to live. II- Thoughts on our Retirees; You were born to be educators and it has been an honor to have been able for all of us to call you colleagues. Teachers are not just teachers. Everyday of a teachers’ professional life, they transform into poets, historians, mathematicians, scientists, dancers, comedians, artists, coaches, psychologists, athletes, and so much more every single day. Many of you, I have had the honor of witnessing this.

You have been able to maintain your level of professional excellence through the most difficult fourteen months of our professional lives. Congratulations to you for maintaining your desire for all putting our students first. This is what South Milwaukee has always been about. You all are a reason for South Miliwaukee being a district of high character. III- Retirement Banquet: It is our hope that you will be able to attend the 2022 Retirement Banquet, when it will be my honor to tell jokes about teaching, politics, etc… Peace, love, respect, and a huge thank you for all that you have done for the students in the South Milwaukee School District. IV- A Toast to You: “The true joy in life is being used for purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.” George Bernard Shaw

What profession is mightier than one that touches the next generation – to see children hold your understanding in their eyes, your hope in their lives, and your world in their hands? In their success you find your own and so to them you have given your all. Your careers are not validated by selfishness – in an era of political fraud and corporate greed; your validation comes from self-fulfillment and personal pride. You quietly with dignity and respect for your profession did the job that your critics are neither qualified to do, willing to do, or able to do. Your students are so blessed to have had you there to put a permanent stamp on their hearts. Better things will happen to them because you were there. Each year you take your students on that journey to the top of the mountain. As we all know the journey does not end there, you have put the building blocks in place for their next mountain to climb. Your students take new steps everyday toward a new frontier.

You have carried the educational touch of your predecessors - and now in a few short days you will pass that touch of learning on – so that education will continue as it has in the past and will continue into the future. You have made our district a special place to work and made our jobs easier. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you the very best in whatever and wherever your travels take you. John Riggins and the SMEA

Why did I stay at SM? The people the staff - are amazing. I will miss you all.

Kelly Farris-Renner KFR, Farris, Kiffer, Ms. Safari, Ms. Iron-Runner

Looking forward to wedding planning with her daughter, working at UWM as a teacher mentor, volunteering at local nature centers (going back to her roots), taking classes at UWM, and traveling!!!!!!

EDUCATION JFKennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa BS in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University MS in Zoology with an emphasis in Behavioral Ecology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Teaching certification from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Variety of Universities and 60 + credits AN ENTIRE TEACHING CAREER AT SMHS Physical Science, Accelerated Physical Science, Biology, Accelerated Biology, self-contained Biology, AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Independent Study - Science Research ACTIVITIES and LEADERSHIP Academic Decathlon, co-founder of SM GREEN and led student trips to the Boundary Waters Department Chair, K-12 Curriculum Coordinator, Elementary Science Competition Coordinator, GOLT leader

FONDEST MEMORIES Confession Time: Bill Drummond started the same year I did (1990) and as you know he taught speech and loved to tell a good story. I told him about a misunderstanding my students had in one of my classes. Bill thought it was hilarious and asked to use it. He made me promise to never deny the story. So every year until he retired - he told his students that my husband at one time played football for the Miami Dolphins. I am sorry if you heard this and were misled - but it is not true. (But it did provide lots of laughs to Bill and others over the years). In terms of staff - working with John Cicero, Joel Shilling and Jeff Kubel at the old building always led to interesting things - from walking on hot coals, to riding on hover crafts (and almost crashing), to playing with lasers through the window in the courtyard. In terms of students there are so many - from gifts, to practical jokes (played on me and then my retaliation), to tears of failure followed by successes, to so many things that make teaching the wonderful profession that it is - It will be those memories that will make me smile in the years to come.

Loves SM - the school, her co-workers, and the students and families.

Cindy Kowalski Plans to travel & enjoy more time with the family at their property on Pelican Lake. Looking forward to more time to go on long walks, hiking, gardening, pilates, and most of all time with grandkids Reed and Autumn.

SOUTH MILWAUKEE ALUMNI & 34 YEAR CAREER at SM Secretary in the SM Recreation Department, SMHS Records Secretary and Attendance, Secretary to the Associate Principals In all of her roles at SM, Cindy has always had an even keeled demeanor, is incredibly detail oriented and keeps very organized records. In the last few years she has struggled with her decision to retire, as she loves this school, her co-workers and the students and families of SM.

“Children are always the only future the human race has; TEACH THEM WELL!” (author unkown)

Shari McCormick Señora McCormick & Señorita Knutson

Plans to get certified to teach fitness classes and to partner with author Jennifer Degenhard to create chapter classroom activities for her Spanish novels.

EDUCATION Oshkosh Wesh High School Undergrad degree from UW-Oshkosh Graduate degree from UW-Milwaukee TEACHING Pulaski High School Intern, Waupaca HS long-term sub, WashingtonCaldwell K-8, SM Middle/High Spanish 6-12 ACTIVITIES and LEADERSHIP  8th grade study tours to México, Folk Fair field trips, multicultural talent show, school wide World Language Week activities, Department Chair, TILT committee member, Personalized Learning Team member, Spanish Club advisor. THOUGHTS I was very blessed to discover my passion for teaching at an early age. Sharing my enthusiasm for Spanish with my students has brought great joy over the past 31 years. It’s been a great ride!

FONDEST MEMORIES Receiving my first Brat Fry award, as a first year teacher, from Dan Bowe after oversleeping and missing my first hour class because the night before I had met my now husband at Milwaukee’s World’s Largest Office Party and stayed out way too late. The day I set fire alarm off cooking tortillas with a student who was absent for our Guatemalan food experience. The 6-12 campus evacuated and the fire department came, -the fire chief scolded me. During World Language Week we would showcase a country each day that our students were from. In the morning, music from that country would be played when students arrived to school. I didn’t have time to proof our Nigerian music. The music was in English and had a few profanities blasting over the loud speaker. Eric and Greg never let me live that down.

Supporting, dedicated and understanding.

Beth Schefelker More time to vacation with family and friends.

EDUCATION BASc from University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse MA from Cardinal Stritch University TEACHING MPS teacher SM Elementary Math Coach LEADERSHIP  Common Core Leadership in Mathematics and Core Mathematics, led PD for the Wisconsin Institute of Mathematics: K-2 Operations and Algebraic Thinking and K-2 Number and Base Ten AWARDS 2014 Distinguished Math Educator of the Year of the State of Wisconsin

TOTALLY enjoyed my 25.5 years at SMHS. I have worked with so many AWESOME individuals and have so many great memories!

Jen Wesley Wes or Coach

Looking ahead to possible cleaning jobs and helping with a new grandbaby!

EDUCATION BA in Psychology from Winona State University and UW-Milwaukee Teaching Degree in Special Education from UW-Milwaukee MA in At Risk Education from Marian University CAREER Columbia Hospital Psychiatric Unit and Trinity Psych Unit 8.5 years as a Psych Tech. Para at SMHS for .5 year SMHS Special Education teacher for 25 years ACTIVITIES Coached Girls tennis for 16years, coached Boys tennis for 2 years FONDEST MEMORY Played basketball on the faculty game and my daughter Emily was in 9th grade. She stole the ball from me and went up for a lay up and scored on her momma!

Closing Remarks - 2021 Retirement & Recognition On behalf of the SMEA, I’d like to thank our retirees for their years of service to our profession and organization. I am personally honored to have worked with, learned from, and, most importantly, experienced their classrooms as a South Milwaukee student. They represent an amazing group of educators that SM has been so lucky to have for so many years.  I am so proud of the work that the SMEA has accomplished over the 2020-21 school year. From the growing numbers of members becoming more involved in committee and caucus work, to our organizing efforts at the local, regional, and state level. The SMEA continues to be recognized as a strong voice for our profession, our students, and their families.

The SMEA is filled with amazing teachers, secretaries, and aides who are passionately dedicated to serving our students and schools. Thank YOU to all of our members, for the work that you do every day to provide safe and welcoming schools where our students are valued and provided with a solid educational foundation. Although we all wish the circumstances were different, I know we can all agree that the future celebration will be one to remember when we invite you back to celebrate with us! To our retirees, we wish you good luck as you begin your new journeys ahead-you will always be a part of our SMEA Family.  -Stephanie Pelo - SMEA President