Three employees of School District 8 started their retirement journey with a COVID-friendly send-off.
Collectively, Shannon Tetz, Cheryl Rendek, and Janet Wall dedicated 87 years of service to local children.
The women gathered outside of Prince Charles Secondary School and were presented with a locally-made Kootenay crate filled with goodies from the region, such as olive oil, pasta, and coffee beans from Slocan Valley, Kaslo, Crawford Bay, Salmo, Nelson, and Creston.
“During COVID, we haven’t been able to have our traditional banquets and farewells for our retirees,” said Christine Perkins, superintendent of schools for District 8.
“So, we came up with this idea to have a small ceremony outside to honour them and show that we care. We want to thank them for their many years of service to our students.”
Tetz, former transportation co-ordinator assistant, was in charge of scheduling and dispatching and keeping the bus drivers in Creston, Crawford Bay, and Yahk since 1994.
“The thing I enjoyed most was working with the children,” she said. “There the ones that I’ll miss the most.”
She is looking forward to relaxing and spending time with her grandson.
Rendek started as a subsititute teacher in 1995 and spent the last seven years teaching kindergarten at Adam Robertson Elementary.
The first class she ever taught at Erickson Elementary School is now graduating from Prince Charles Secondary School.
“I’m very, very proud of them,” she said. “Being a kindergarten teacher was my dream job. I just loved it.”
In her retirement, she is looking forward to spending time with her own two children and travelling, when she’s able to.
Wall, manager of operations since 1987, said it was a joy to watch so many children grow and change.
Over the years, she worked in the transportation, custodial, and resource centre departments.
“The kids were all so unqiue and great to work with,” she said. “We had some great chuckles. I drove the school bus for kids of other kids, and it was neat to see the family connections.”
When she first started driving bus, the unit she was assigned was number 2021. Wall joked that was the year she was going to retire, and surprisingly, it came full circle.
Now she plans to go camping, spend time with grandkids, and take some courses to further her education.