Summit School District bids adieu to nearly 200 years of experience at retiree banquet |

Summit School District bids adieu to nearly 200 years of experience at retiree banquet

Renea Hill, left, Frisco Elementary principal, and Martha Herwehe, one of the school's fourth-grade teacher, smile after an appreciation dinner hosted by school district officials May 12, 2015. Herwehe is retiring after 20 years with the district.
Wendy Blasingame / Contributed |


Debora Estreich, transportation manager, 30 years

Betty Koenig, Summit Middle School PE teacher, 25 years

Linda Aichinger, Silverthorne Elementary second-grade teacher, 24 years

Deb Snyder, Breckenridge Elementary third-grade teacher, 23 years

Maureen Shields, Breckenridg Elementary IB coordinator/media specialist, 21 years

Martha Herwehe, Frisco Elementary fourth-grade teacher, 20 years

Nancy Shaffer, Upper Blue Elementary paraprofessional/media specialist, 18 years

Charles Krupanszky, Summit Middle School assistant principal, 16 years

Nancy Laurence, transportation administrative assistant, 11 years

Thomas (Skip) Beck, Summit Middle School math teacher, 4 years

Linda Null Bonner, Silverthorne Elementary second-grade teacher, 2 years

Summit School District will lose nearly 200 years of combined experience in Summit when 11 local teachers and district staff members retire this year.

Principals, school board members and superintendent recognized the retirees at a dinner on May 12, and the handful who attended shared memories, laughs and some tears.

Summit Middle School principal Joel Rivera spoke about assistant principal Charlie Krupanszky, who is retiring after 16 years with the district and 18 in education.

“His thoughtfulness comes out by talking and talking,” Rivera said, a skill the school has valued for dealing with difficult parents and other people.

Rivera added that Krupanszky’s sensible planning complemented Rivera’s action-oriented enthusiasm and that he had been dreading the day his coworker, mentor and friend would leave.

“I’m going to miss him,” Rivera said, along with Krupanszky’s favorite words: fuzzy, proverbial and slippery slope.

Breckenridge Elementary principal Jonathan Johnson recognized two of his school’s employees, third-grade teacher Deb Snyder and media specialist Maureen Shields. He called Snyder an International Baccalaureate pioneer and said he understood why colleagues were sad to see Shields go when she left a previous school in 1995.

Snyder, who is leaving after 23 years, thanked the district for taking care of her family during 23 years of work at three Summit schools.

“I just feel like I am losing a family,” she said. “I’m going to miss the kids a lot.”

Fellow teacher Wendy Blasingame said she modeled her personal teaching style after Snyder’s instruction and was grateful for Shields’ help with technology.

Retiring transportation manager Deb Estreich started driving school buses in the district in 1985, when she said Summit had one stoplight, a combined middle and high school campus, four elementary schools, and three school board members.

School board member Erin Young said Estreich drove Young to school when she attended Silverthorne Elementary.

“This has been a really good ride,” Estreich said.

She spoke highly of Nancy Laurence, a transportation department employee retiring after 11 years, who kept drivers in check and parents clued in.

“She can find a lost kid faster than anybody I know,” Estreich said.

Frisco Elementary principal Renea Hill honored fourth-grade teacher Martha Herwehe, who is retiring after 20 years with the district.

“Martha became my assistant in everything that I needed to know as principal,” Hill said.

Herwehe had a teaching dance — she would literally dance while teaching — and always kept kids engaged, Hill added.

“It’s a thing of magic, and those kids know she loves them,” her principal said.

Reflecting on whether or not she positively impacted her students, Herwehe said she often thought of former students who visited her years later, calling those visits “the only gauge” for a teacher. When they came back as university students, she started to feel even more proud, and the feeling grew when they remembered her after their college graduations.

Pace said she appreciated the retirees’ commitment to the district and to generations of Summit County kids.

“They are who they are in part due to the teachers that have touched their lives along the way,” she said.

Then she half-joked that the retirees would receive substitute teaching applications as they left.

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