CLINTON -- Principals, teachers, cooks and bus drivers -- an assortment of people who dedicated years were all honored for their commitment to the Clinton School District on Monday. In all, Superintendent Deb Olson praised 21 who are off to varied new commitments in retirement.
“Each person that you see standing here has had a tremendous impact on our children through their service,” Olson said Monday during her district’s Honor Ceremony at Bluff Elementary School. “They gave it their all, all for the betterment of others. Being in education is not a job. It is a vocation, it is a way of life.”
Attendees were treated to free food and drink accompanied by admiration for one another and from those who are still working in the school system. Many of them have devoted decades to the district in numerous capacities.
Ruby Van Pelt, 87, was among the oldest retiring from her role as a cafeteria lady, capping off over four decades of work. Were it not for an injury she suffered last year, Van Pelt said she would still work for the district. Even so, she plans to continue volunteering at Bluff Elementary, where she has walked to and from since she lost the ability to drive.
“I’d be working yet,” said Van Pelt, who plans to spend more time with her grandchildren. “I’ve made so many good friends working here.”
Others joining her were Orville Buikema, Geraldine Clausen-Butz, Rose Miller and William Tompkins from the transportation department; counselors Jayne Dierickx and Sally Rutz; maintenance men Tom Otto and Dale Holesinger; food service workers Shelba VanHorn, Cheryl McNulty and Judy Luett; nurse Jane Elsasser; teachers Julie Eyskens, Tom McCormick, RoseAnn Robe and Dianne Guntzel; crossing guard James Richmond; principals Bev Goerdt and Bonnie Freitag; and human resources director Jess Terrell.