Celebrating the Legacy of Lowell Area Schools’ Retiring Educators and Staff

As another school year comes to a close, Lowell Area Schools bids a heartfelt farewell to a group of dedicated educators and staff who have shaped countless lives through their commitment and passion. This year, we honor not only those who have shared their stories but also those whose contributions have been equally invaluable.

A Fond Look Back: Personal Reflections

Susan Pomper reflects on her 35-year journey with LAS, from initial hesitation as a student teacher to finding her home and pride in the Lowell community.

“I thought in my twenty-something brain that it (Lowell) was too far and too small,” she recalls. “Fast forward 35 years—Lowell is my home, and I have been so proud and fortunate to be an employee of LAS!”

Pomper cherishes the moments when young learners experience the joy of reading. “To think that I have been part of flipping that switch brings me such JOY!” she shares, expressing immense gratitude for her role in their educational journey.

Sandy Keeney brings to a close her 40-year career as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher, having served in Iowa, New York, and finally, Lowell.

Reflecting on the challenges of the pandemic, she notes, “Learning which online learning (method) I would be using was challenging and I became a master at making circle time videos in my living room.”

Keeney’s fondness for her colleagues at Bushnell Elementary and her belief in kindness and fun as lasting legacies highlight her positive impact on the school community. “Have fun, always be kind, and be good to people,” she advises. “Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”

Cathy Wood shares a rich tapestry of memories from her 40 years at Lowell, marked by her adaptability and enthusiasm for learning.

“One of my favorite things about teaching in Lowell for 40 years was the opportunity to change grade levels and/or subjects over the years,” she explains.

From middle school birthday lunches and creative Shakespeare presentations to elementary subtraction lessons and a classroom wedding celebration, Wood’s stories reflect her dedication to fostering an engaging and supportive learning environment. “Every year has been a great adventure filled with love and learning,” she says. “Each day is new and different, and I have loved every minute of each of the last 40 years.”

Kristin Schuette taught at Lowell Middle School and reminisces about the stories that have defined her career, from the laughter and tears shared over books to the special moments with colleagues and students.

Highlights include her advisory role for the class of 2007, filled with memorable events and celebrations. “Those years stand out with memories of LHS Idol, the 8th grade dance, Pi’s boat, homecoming floats and parades,” she recounts.

Schuette’s appreciation for the friendships and teamwork that have enriched her professional journey is evident in her reflections. “Thank you, LAS, for letting me be a part of your story,” she concludes.

In addition to those who shared their reflections, we extend our gratitude to several other esteemed members of the LAS community:

  • Tina Hayes, Speech Language Pathologist
  • Linda McElroy, School Nurse
  • Tami Griffeth and Dale Hollister, Bus Drivers
  • Renay Bouwhuis, High School Administrator
  • Gail Hutchinson, Middle School Administrator
  • Vicky Pratt, High School Administrator

These individuals have each contributed uniquely to the success and well-being of students and the school system. Their dedication and hard work have left an indelible mark on our community.

As we celebrate these retirements, we recognize the immense dedication and love that each of these educators and staff members has poured into their roles. Their collective efforts have made Lowell Area Schools a nurturing and dynamic environment for learning and growth. We wish them all the best in their next chapters, knowing that their legacies will continue to inspire future generations.

Thank you, LAS retirees, for your years of service and for making a lasting difference in our community.

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