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Wapakoneta City School District officials have plenty of shoes to fill at the end of the year.
Wapakoneta Middle School (WMS) staff hosted the annual Teacher’s Retirement Tea Wednesday at the Wapakoneta High School cafeteria. In all, 11 teachers, who totaled 341 years service to the district, retired from the district this school year.
“I don’t know when was the last time, if ever, we had this many in one year,” WMS teacher Michelle Roediger, who helped organize the event, said.
When asked how easy it would be to replace them, she simply said, “It is impossible.”
The 11 teachers honored were Denny Cosart, Steve Schuler, Paula Quatman, Marilyn Shaw, Elisha Smith, Bart Smith, Ruth Doll, Yvonne Cook, Deb Madden, Jean Turner and Melanie Webb.
Cosart taught U.S. history and government for two years prior to coming to Wapakoneta. He was hired in Wapakoneta in 1979 and taught U.S. history freshmen and sophomores and AP U.S. history to juniors and seniors.
Cosart said he plans to spend time with family, travel, gardening, researching family history and playing golf in his retirement.
Schuler came to the district in 1976 after teaching at Northridge Elementary School and McBroom Junior High School and teaching at the college level at Kent State University. While in Wapakoneta, he taught art at Northridge Elementary, Blume Junior High, Centennial, United Local, Buckland and Cridersville elementary schools.
Schuler told the crowd he looks forward to a less rigid schedule and plans to travel. He said he wants to repaint the house and work on collections and hobbies.
Quatman, who taught 35 years after coming to the school district in 1977, spent time teaching physical education at the elementary level and sixth-grade language arts in her time at Wapakoneta.
She said she plans to take some time cleaning out her attic and basement and then plans to spend time “doing what I want to do.”
Shaw spent 35 years teaching fifth- and sixth-grade language arts, art, and home arts with Waynesfield-Goshen Local Schools, teaching gifted students at Cridersville and Buckland elementary schools and fourth grade at Northridge Elementary School and as a gifted intervention specialist and math and language arts teacher at the middle school.
She said some of her activities in her retirement will include spending time with family, helping with the family farm and traveling.
Elisha Smith began teaching in Ottawa-Glandorf as a computer science specialist in 1985 before coming to Wapakoneta in 1990, where she taught life science and sixth grade social studies.
She said she plans to spend time crafting, gardening and traveling.
Bart Smith taught science with Ottawa-Glandorf Schools from 1977-1991 before coming to Wapakoneta. He taught science to seventh-graders for eight years and to eighth-graders for 13 years.
He said he plans to travel, “do endless yard work and have lots of fun.”
Doll taught at Norton City Schools beginning in 1970 before coming to Wapakoneta in 1978. She substituted in the Wapakoneta and St. Marys districts before going to Cridersville in 1980 and teaching all subjects.
She said her activities will include spending time with family, traveling, reading and relaxing.
Cook came to Wapakoneta in 1977 and spent her entire teaching career here. She taught fifth- and sixth-grade at Centennial before moving with the students to Northridge in 1982 and then to the new middle school in 1989. She also spent time teaching sixth-grade science before returning to Northridge in 2000 to teach third grade for the remainder of her career.
She said she plans to enjoy late morning coffee with the Today Show, a daily crossword, trips to Florida and Lake Erie and finishing a few projects.
Madden came to the school district in 1974 and taught speech at a variety of different buildings within the district.
She said she looks forward to freedom as a well-deserved reward for 38 years of hard work.
Turner taught kindergarten from 1977-1980 at Buckland. She taught kindergarten and first grade at Centennial until 1988 when she settled into a position teaching second grade.
Turner said her and her husband plan to open a business. She also plans to travel, be involved in 4-H and enjoying her grandchildren.
Webb began her teaching career at United Local teaching second and third grade. She moved to Northridge and taught third and fourth grade for 16 years before finishing her career at the new Wapakoneta Elementary School.
She said she plans to spend time with family, gardening, and slowing down to enjoy the blessings in life.
Also, Julie Wisener was awarded the Wapakoneta Education Association Friend of Education Award for her dedication and effort to the staff and students at Wapakoneta Elementary School.