Well-deserved retirement

Six teachers with a combined 180 years of service to New Prague Area Schools saw their full-time teaching careers end with the close of the 2012- 13 school years.

These six teachers gave decades of their lives to helping shape generations of students. Whether it was in the elementary classroom, in the music room, in social studies classes, at choir competitions or concerts, on the field or courts with their sports teams, these teachers, advisors and coaches had the goal of helping their students achieve, to get them ready for the next step in their lives.

Teachers collectively take a lot of abuse from the general public. The profession is often maligned by people hoping to score political points and often take more than their fair share of the blame when a student has problems in the schools.

But it’s hard to imagine a profession that has a more lasting effect on our future. Dan Puls, Rita Sapp, Addie Thietje, Mark Shaughnessy, Peter Kallal and Terri Bissel worked hard to make a difference in their students’ lives. As one teacher said in an interview last week, it’s always fun to run into one of their former students years later and connect with them, to find out where their lives have taken them.

So as these six teachers move into retirement, The Times joins the rest of the community in wishing them well. Thank you for helping to enrich the lives of our children and for giving the extra time and effort that is required of an educator. The lives of our children are better for your efforts, and we hope your lives were enriched by that experience as well.