By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Eight Yukon Public Schools’ personnel with a combined 221 years of education experience were honored at the school district’s retirement reception May 9 in the Yukon High School cafeteria.
Elaine Blevins, Tammy Anderson, Susan Canham, Colleen Iasiello, Gayla Sewell, Rhonda Tarter, Myrna Kolar, and Linda Hickman will retire after the 2018-19 school year.
YPS Superintendent Jason Simeroth talked about this year’s retirees and the years of dedicated service they provided. All totaled, the eight women have spent 184 years with the Yukon school district.
Blevins has worked 29 years in education, all for YPS at Independence Middle School, Central Elementary and (since 2002) Parkland Elementary. She has taught students with intellectual disabilities, severely emotionally disturbed, and severe and profound disabilities. In 2007, Blevins earned her National Board certification in exceptional needs.
Anderson has worked in education for 38 years, 21 of them in Yukon at Shedeck Elementary teaching kindergarten. In 2002-03, she taught half-day kindergarten at both Shedeck and Parkland.
Canham has worked in education for 25 years with 20 of them in Yukon. She started as a cook at Shedeck and was then promoted to kitchen assistant manager, working at Central Elementary and Parkland Elementary. Canham returned to Shedeck where she’s been a kitchen manager for the last 10 years.
Iasiello has taught 23 years, with 12 with YPS as a kindergarten teacher at Ranchwood Elementary.
Sewell has worked in education for 31 years, with 27 of those in Yukon. She has taught eighth grade math for 19 years at Independence Middle School and eight years at Yukon Middle School.
Tarter has been employed in Yukon for 15 years as a paraprofessional at Yukon High School and YHS 9-10.
Kolar was been in education for 28 years with 27 in YPS. She has worked as a paraprofessional at both Independence Middle School and Yukon Middle School.
Hickman was been in education for 33 years, with her last three years in Yukon as a special education co-teacher at Yukon High School.
Superintendent Simeroth shared these longtime educators’ retirement plans with attendees of the May 9 reception. The retirees look forward to spending more time with family, traveling and staying busy with various hobbies.
Canham, who couldn’t wear jewelry while working in school kitchens, is “excited to have the opportunity to wear jewelry again.” She also plans to “sleep in”, no longer having to get up at 4:45 a.m. everyday.
For some retirees, their time helping Yukon students will continue. Blevins, for example, plans to “haunt the halls” at Parkland as a volunteer in special education classes.
The last day of Yukon’s 2018-19 school year is next Thursday, May 23.