By Todd Moen, Editor
When students return to classes at ISD 110 schools this fall, they will surely miss the devotion and expertise of six long-time teachers and/or staff members that retired this year.
The retirees – Jill Randall, Beth Ricke, Dianne Anderson, Susan Peck, Carol Waetjan, and Rosie Steinborn – boast about 100 years of combined experience.
The retirees received the Golden Apple memento and a hearty round of applause while being honored during the Waconia School Board meeting held June 11.
All six retirees were approached to comment on their careers and Randall (third grade at Southview) and Steinborn (head cook at Southview) responded.
Originally from St. Paul, Jill Randall’s 35-year career began after she graduated from Winona State University with a degree in special education / learning disabilities in 1977. She spent two years teaching special education in Butterfield, Minn.
"I love nature but I wanted to be closer to the Twin Cities. Waconia seemed perfect," said Randall, who would spend the other 33 years of her career at Southview.
For her first 14 years in Waconia, Randall worked with students with learning disabilities before teaching third grade students. She said her favorite part of the job was working with the students and coming up with creative ways to help them learn.
"I loved connecting with the kids," she said. "I always told them, it’s OK to make mistakes … just make a different mistake each time. I wanted the students to know I cared and I wanted to make their third grade experience a wonderful year."
Randall said she would miss the students and working with them the most. As she enters retirement, Randall said she looks forward to getting her house in order and enjoying nature and time outdoors, and eventually, doing some traveling.
Although she dearly misses her husband, Bill, who passed away last year, Randall also looks forward to spending time with her family, including her son, Joe.
"Southview was an excellent school. I’m glad I was a teacher. It was a very, very rewarding experience," Randall said. "The staff, kids, parents, and families were wonderful. I am very blessed I was led to Waconia."
For more than a quarter of a century, local students have been enjoying hearty, delicious food prepared by cook Rosie Steinborn.
"My cooking career started when my parents had a restaurant and when our children were in school, I started cooking at Trinity Lutheran School," she recalled. "The hours were perfect. I was always home when they were home."
Steinborn stayed at Trinity for 19 years before becoming a sub for the Waconia and Chaska school districts. After becoming a long-term sub at Southview, Steinborn ended up staying at the school for the next seven years.
"I’ve always enjoyed cooking for the children and trying to get them to taste new foods," she said. "I’ll really miss not seeing the children every day but I plan on being on the sub list again."
Steinborn said the staff at Southview truly cared about each other and was like a family.
"It was fun making them extra treats once in a while. I will really miss staff and students next fall when it’s time for school to start," she said but added that she has many hobbies to keep her busy in retirement. "I enjoy piecing quilts, crocheting hand work and my flower garden in the summer months."
Steinborn has been married to her husband, Melvin, for 51 years. The couple has seven children, all of which attended Trinity for the first eight years before graduating from Waconia High School. The Steinborns have 14 grandchildren.
"They all live close by so we get to enjoy them," Steinborn said.
Anderson spent 16 years in the district and retired as a guidance secretary at Waconia High School. Peck spent nine years in the district and was a speech / language clinician and Unique Learners staffer at Southview and Waconia High School.
Ricke was a fifth grade teacher at Clearwater Middle School. She worked in the Waconia district for 26 years. Waetjan was an assistant head cook at Clearwater. She worked in Waconia for seven years.
Also during the school board meeting held June 11, the board adopted the preliminary budget for the 2012-13 school year.
The budget begins with a fund balance of $5,291,722 and includes total revenues of $28,558,908 and expenditures of $29,218,814 for an ending fund balance of $4,631,816. This represents a deficit of $659,906, which is attributed to a planned spend-down of a portion of its fund balance, mostly related to technology improvements.
The improvements include the investment of a wireless backbone for all district buildings ($250,000), iPads for high school biology course ($140,000), and the replacement of laptops with Macs at the elementary schools ($76,000) and desktop devices older than seven years ($60,000).
Although the planned technology improvements will result in a decrease for the ending fund balance, Superintendent Nancy Rajanen said that the remaining amount of approximately $4.6 million is an "excellent" fund balance.
It was also noted that school districts strive to have healthy fund balances so they are able to do a project like these technology improvements.
In other matters: