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District 191 Retirement Reception

Looking back with admiration; Looking forward with anticipation.

Tuesday May 8, 2012


In Their Own Words. We invited all of this year’s retirees to voluntarily offer up some information about themselves. Most did.

KATHRYN ANDERSON, 1980 Educational Assistant, Sky Oaks Elementary Kathryn’s career at 191 included 32 years of dedicated service as an educational assistant. She retired from Sky Oaks Elementary.

CARLA BERNHJELM, 1989 Spanish Teacher, Burnsville High School Carla taught Spanish in District 191 for 23 years.

DIANNE BLOOMQUIST, 1988 Teacher, Hidden Valley Elementary Dianne served District 191 students as an elementary teacher for 25 years. She retired from Hidden Valley Elementary.

JACQUELINE CALLAHAN, 2002 Management Educational Assistant, Early Childhood Special Education Jacqueline started work as an educational assistant in the District 191 ECSE program in 2002.


District Retirees Share. Please enjoy reading the personal remembrances and future plans of our esteemed group of honorees.

KATHY CARLSON, 1974 Teacher, M.W. Savage Most Rewarding Experience: As an elementary physical education teacher in district #191 for 38 years, I have had the opportunity to influence many students. Educating them in the benefits of being physically active as an important component of their health and wellbeing, as well as showing them how much fun it can be has been so rewarding. I have exposed my students to many lifelong activities and given them the skills and self-confidence to pursue many different interests in activities they can enjoy throughout their

KATHERINE CASTLE, 1989 Cook Manager, Gideon Pond Elementary Katherine has served District 191 students for 23 years.

MARJEAN DAVIS, 1975 Teacher, Edward Neill Elementary Plans for Retirement: Teaching will always be part of my life. I have two grandchildren who I am thoroughly enjoying in retirement. It’s also a learning time for me. I love having the time to read new genres. ‌ As I start this new chapter in my life I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to work with so many wonderful students and supportive staff members.


MARLYS DEAN, 1985 Principal Secretary, Burnsville High School Most Rewarding Experience: Although I have had 26 years of rewarding employment in various roles, my most rewarding role was as Principal's Secretary at Burnsville High School. Plans for Retirement: In retirement, I plan to enjoy more time with family and friends and to travel and golf.

RICHARD DEPLAZES, 1975 Custodian, Districtwide Richard served District 191 in custodial roles for 37 years.

BEVERLEY FEIL, 1988 Teacher, Sky Oaks Elementary Most Rewarding Experience: Working with small groups of children and seeing the joy on their faces when they feel success. Being nominated for Teacher of the Year by a parent and representing Gideon Pond Elementary in 2009.

STEVEN FRAZIER, 1981 Grounds Crew, Districtwide Favorite Story: When Dennis Frider and I would take the ducks down to the pond and walk them through the school to the pond. Every year a mother duck would have a nest in the courtyard of Cedar School. We would have to lead them through the school to the pond down the street.


JANE GREVSTAD, 1997 Technology EA, Gideon Pond Most Rewarding Experience: The most rewarding part of my job as a Tech EA at Gideon Pond was being the contact person in the building for technology. I always felt that I was appreciated by staff and students when I was able to solve their technology needs when they needed my expertise because I was right there and I was familiar with the staff and the building needs. In most cases, I could resolve problems right away, and students could get back to learning and staff could continue their work with minimal disruption. Plans for Retirement: In my retirement, I plan to spend extended weekends in my favorite small town Lanesboro, Minnesota, where my husband and I will be readying our retirement home. I also will have more time to be creative with sewing and knitting endeavors and to spend more time with my family in Wisconsin.

MARY GRZESIAK, 1989 Teacher, William Byrne Elementary Most Rewarding Experience: My most rewarding experience of my career was to help kids who didn't understand a single word of English to become fluent both orally and academically. Their parents' gratitude was humbling. One father told me while bowing over my hand that in his country, teachers were just below God and king. Plans for Retirement: One word‌.MORE! More time for family, more trips to take, more books to read, more antiques to collect, more bridge to play, more sewing to do, more restaurants to try‌and on and on!


MARGARET HINTON, 1992 Teacher & SEED Facilitator MW Savage Elementary Most Rewarding Experience: My first rewarding experience: In 1997 I was named District Teacher of the Year. It was an honor and a great experience to represent our District 191 staff at the state level. The second most rewarding experience of my career is to be a professional development S.E.E.D. facilitator since 1997. S.E.E.D. is an acronym that stands for Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity.

MARY HOLMQUIST, 1995 Teacher, Burnsville High School Mary dedicated 16 years to serving students with special needs in District 191.

VINA JOHNSON, 1988 Management Educational Assistant Edward Neill Elementary School Vina served students as an educational assistant in District 191 for 23 years, retiring in 2011 from Edward Neill Elementary.

SCOTT LUNDER, 1988 Custodian, Eagle Ridge Junior High Scott gave 23 years of dedicated service to District 191.


SHARON MANNINEN, 1985 Clerical, Targeted Services, BALC Sharon served District 191 students and families for 27 years.

PAMELA MAYFIELD, 1993 Management Educational Assistant, Nicollet Junior High Pamela served students as an educational assistant in District 191 for 19 years, retiring in 2011 from Nicollet Junior High.

JANE MAYNE, 1991 Program Supervisor, Community Education Jane provided 21 years of service to families and community members of District 191.

MARY MCHUGH, 1978 Teacher, Hidden Valley Elementary Plans for Retirement: This past year has been full of changes all leading to the “big” one… Retirement. My husband Steve and I are about to embark on a new and exciting life. Five years ago, we began formulating what this new life would look like when we opened up an art gallery on Madeline Island in Wisconsin called Bell Street Gallery. That event began the routine of ending the school year and heading up to the island to join Steve and begin our summer residence. This summer, thanks to retirement, instead of just heading up for the summer, we are moving up to become fulltime island residents.


DENNIS PALMQUIST, 1976 Custodian, Burnsville High School Dennis provided 36 years of dedicated service as a custodian in District 191.

RAE ANN PELINKA, 1992 Cook Manager, Eagle Ridge Junior High Katherine has served District 191 students for 20 years.

SALLY RIX, Teacher, Sky Oaks Elementary Most Rewarding Experience: I have had the privilege of working with many talented students and teachers over the decades of my career. I continue to enjoy hearing from former students of how education has helped them reach their personal goals. It has been rewarding to hear favorite memories including: field trips, classroom plays, writing projects, science experiments, art projects, and guitar singalongs. Plans for Retirement: Retirement will give me time to spend more time with my family and friends. I look forward to enjoying time for quilting, reading, music, gardening, traveling, and volunteering.


SHIRLEY ROBERTS, 2001 Educational Assistant Sky Oaks Elementary Shirley is a valued EA who provided service to District 191 students for 10 years.

LINDA RODEWALD, 1996 Management Educational Assistant Burnsville High School Linda provided 16 years of dedicated service to students in District 191.

TERRY RUHSAM, 1970 Teacher, Metcalf Junior high Favorite Story: One of my favorite 191 stories goes back to the first year I taught. I had been teaching the same students in a section of ninth grade American History for the entire year. It was the last few weeks of the school year and the students were doing a project in the media center on Native Americans. I had a girl doing research on Chief Osceola and the Florida Seminoles. I asked her why she had selected Chief Osceola. (I grew up in Osceola, Wisconsin, on the St. Croix River.) She told me she had gone to kindergarten in Osceola, Wisconsin. Her face suddenly turned a bright red and she ran embarrassingly from the media center. After 33 weeks of school she had suddenly associated my name with her kindergarten teacher. That kindergarten teacher was my mother.

JAN SHEIL, 1993 Teacher, Hidden Valley Elementary Jan provided 18 years of dedicated service as a teacher for District 191 students.


SALLY SMITH, 1978 Teacher, Hidden Valley Elementary Sally Smith has spent 34 years teaching elementary students in District 191.

PATRICIA SOMMERSTAD, 1973 Teacher, Hidden Valley Elementary Patricia has been teaching District 191 students for 39 years.

DONNA STARK, 2000 Management Educational Assistant Vista View Elementary Donna started as a Management Educational Assistant at Sky Oaks Elementary School. She worked at Sky Oaks for 4 years, before moving to Vista View beginning with the 2004-05 school year. She has worked as a Management Educational Assistant for a total of 12 years in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district.

BRADLEY TAYLOR, 1978 Teacher, Rahn Elementary Most Rewarding Experience: One of the most rewarding experiences is to have former students, who are now adults, return for a visit. I have found the former students who do return for a visit are often those who struggled in some way or were quite challenging for their teacher. They often want to say "Thank you for making a positive difference in my life" or "Thanks for not giving up on me." These situations are the ones that make teachers feel so special.


JOAN WILEBSKI, 1989 Health Educational Assistant MW Savage Elementary Joan supported students in District 191 for 23 years.

ROSEMARY WINSLOW, 1984 Clerical, Burnsville High School Rosemary provided 27 years of dedicated service to District 191 schools.

For the full version of retiree memories, go to StaffNet to read more!


2012 Retirees Honoring 898 Years of Valued Service!

Kathryn Anderson Judy Basso Carla Bernhjelm Dianne Bloomquist Jacqueline Callahan Kathy Carlson Katherine Castle Marjean Davis Marlys Dean Richard Deplazes Beverley Feil Steven Frazier Jane Grevstad Mary Grzesiak Margaret Hinton Mary Holmquist Vina Johnson Scott Lunder Sharon Manninen Pamela Mayfield Jane Mayne Mary McHugh Dennis Palmquist Rae Ann Pelinka Sally Rix Patricia Sommerstad Donna Stark Bradley Taylor Joan Wilebski Rosemary Winslow

Thank You!


2012 District 191 Retiree Program