Friday, May 4, 2012

Dear Parents

If you have been a loyal reader of this blog during the school year, then you have no doubt been privy to my musings about many of the wonderful accomplishments of our students this school year. The topics have been broad and far reaching. Indeed we have had a great deal of success with our youngsters this year and a plethora of instances where we can hold our heads high with pride. I spent some time this morning going back through my list of posts and found no shortage of good news about student success. From success on the stage to accomplishments in the classroom, we have very prosperous students.

This blog has also been chock full of news about legislative action (or inaction as appears to be the current case), funding issues, and news from the Board of Directors. This forum has proven to be a useful and effective tool at communicating with our district patrons as both a convenient and practical venue. In many cases, it has been used as a vehicle in which to explain or educate followers on a particular issue, or to gain insight into a decision that has been made in the district. I like to think that from time to time, this venue has been used to provide a behind the scenes look at how the district works, and insight into how I go about decision making on behalf of the school district.

But as I was scrolling back through the blog posts this week, I was a little bit disappointed in myself when I realized that while there was a number of examples celebrating the successes of our students, there was virtually no acknowledgement of the fact that these students didn't realize these accomplishments on their own. They had the help of a very dedicated and committed teaching force. Teachers who have worked tirelessly on their behalf, ensuring that they are successful not only in their studies, but later on in life.

It is no secret that an effective classroom teacher is the most influential person our youngsters are going to encounter in the school setting. Research is very clear that the teacher is the person who will have the greatest impact on a child's educational development. We have a district full of such people.

Our faculty are among the most professional and competent individuals you will ever have the opportunity to know. Please believe me when I tell you that you are very lucky to have these professionals work with your child every day. In the last two years, your child's teacher has had to live through some very stressful and trying times. They have been asked to do more with less, pick up extra duties, pay for their own supplies, empty the trash, and yes even vacuum their own classroom floor. Your child's teacher has done all of this and more, all while ensuring that the Core Purpose is alive in our school district by "Creating Effective Learning Environments That Result in Success for All Students".

They advocate. They battle. They teach.

Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

So today and this week, we honor our teachers. We thank them for all they do to ensure our students are successful.

We would also like to recognize and pay tribute to those individuals who have dedicated their careers to education and have decided to retire at the conclusion of this school year.

Terri Sikula, Elementary Art Teacher--Hudson Elementary School
Mrs. Sikula graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in art education in 1991 and came to work at Hudson elementary school that spring. During her time at Hudson, Mrs. Sikula has served in a variety of roles including TAG Teacher, Speech Coach, and Concessions Coordinator. Teri retires this year completing a 21 year career in education.

Sandy Noelting, School Nurse--Hudson Community School District
Mrs. Noelting received her preparation as a Registered Nurse from St. Lukes Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa in 1974. After serving as a full time staff nurse at Allen hospital, she accepted a position as a substitute nurse for the Waterloo Community Schools in 1986. She was hired by the Hudson Community School District in the fall of 1987, and retires this year, completing a 25 year career in school nursing.

Kathy Sharp, Special Education Teacher--Hudson Elementary School
Mrs. Sharp received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in early childhood education in 1975 and went to work as an aide in an LD self contained classroom at Orange Elementary. She served as a substitute teacher for AEA 7 for several years became a teacher in a Behavioral Disorders classroom at Peet Junior High in 1980. Kathy came to Hudson in 1989, in a shared position between Cedar Falls and Hudson. From 1990-2012 her primary responsibilities were at Hudson Elementary at a Teacher of Multidisibilites. She retired in January, completing a 36 year career.

Christy Schmitt
Mrs. Schmitt earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in elementary education in 1972 and went to work at Appling A Jr High School, in Georgia in 1973. After earner her Masters Degree, in 1975, Christy became a special education teacher for AEA 7. In 1982, Mrs. Schmitt was assigned to Hudson High School. Since 1982, her primary responsibilities have been at Hudson High School. Christy retired in December of 2011, completing a career that has spanned 38 years.

Elaine Clarke, Second Grade Teacher--Hudson Elementary School
Mrs. Clarke graduated from the State Teaching College of Iowa (University of Northern Iowa) with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in elementary education in 1967. From 1967-1970, Elaine worked as an elementary school teacher at Dike elementary, serving for two years as a 3rd grade teacher and one year as a 2nd grade teacher. In the fall of 1970 she joined the staff at Hudson elementary where she has been teaching 2nd grade ever since. Elaine earned her Masters Degree in July of 2000 and will retire this year completing a career that has spanned 45 years.

2012 Hudson Community School District Retirees.  From Left to Right, Elaine Clarke, Sandy Noelting, Teri Sikula
Christy Schmitt, and Kathy Sharp.  In total, these retirees have deveoted 165 years of service to education

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