Group photo of the 2021-2022 retirees smiling

Spring Lake Park Schools held its annual retirement reception on May 17 to honor and recognize the 13 staff members who retired during the 2021-2022 school year or are retiring at the end of the school year.

School board members, administrators, principals, staff members, former employees and family members of retiring staff gathered for the celebration. Amy Hennen, school board chair, led a brief program with Superintendent Jeff Ronneberg who presented each honoree with a commemorative school bell award recognizing their service and commitment to the district.

Hennen noted in her remarks that the retirees have 358 years of combined service to the district.

As a learning community, we thank and recognize each of the retirees for their tremendous commitment to the students of Spring Lake Park Schools and wish them well in their retirement.

Here, they share any words they wanted to convey to our community about their journey and plans for the future. View the retirement reception photo album.

Linda Bader

Linda Bader

District Services Center
ECFE Teacher
1989-2022

What makes me proud to be a Panther has been the opportunities I have had to collaborate with all of the wonderful community programs and organizations in the district and county. I will miss my work family and our collaborative nature and truly, all the fun that we had together. I would like to thank Kristin Goessel-Seery for all of the support, guidance and trust that she has given me over the years. I would also like to thank Colleen Pederson for her exemplary leadership skills. It has been a true pleasure to work with all of my amazing colleagues over these many years. During retirement, I plan to travel with my family and enjoy time with family and friends.

Mary Barnette

Mary Barnette

Lighthouse School
Gifted/Talented Teacher
1988-2022

During my time at SLP Schools, I have been a teacher at Westwood and Woodcrest before landing at Lighthouse. I am thankful that I have been able to spend my career in SLP and am proud of the direction that the district has taken over the years. I will miss friendships and daily interactions with my colleagues but look forward to seeing them on the golf course, at book club, or for happy hours. I am Panther Proud when I get emails or communications from former students thanking me for the positive influence I had on them. During retirement, I plan to be traveling, be in a warm climate during the winter months, improve my golf game and finally have the time to volunteer. Long term plan is to get a non-lucrative visa and travel throughout Europe.

Mary Calistro

Mary Calistro

Spring Lake Park High School
Special Education Paraprofessional
2017-2022

 

 

 

 

Donna Dougherty

Donna Dougherty

Lighthouse School
Instructional Paraprofessional
2001-2022

I spent four years at Woodcrest as a Title 1 para. Then moved to the Lighthouse Program in 2005, which was part of Learning Alternatives. I’ve been at Lighthouse ever since as it has grown up and become a school. During my time with Spring Lake Park Schools, I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful staff, parents and students. I was fortunate to become an integral part of the Lighthouse School team, where I truly found my people. I will miss most my quirky, bright, sweet Lighthouse students. My motto is : “Too many books, too little time.” In addition to reading, I plan to Marie Condo my townhome, spend more time with family and friends, perfect my piecrust, and learn to produce a loaf of Swedish rye that tastes as good as my grandma’s.

Kristin Goessel-Seery

Kristin Goessel-Seery

Early Childhood
Early Childhood Programs Manager
1988-2022

I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside so many talented and creative individuals in Early Childhood and Community Education. Together we were able to design and implement programs that have made a positive impact in our school district and community. When I began in SLP schools 34 years ago as an Early Childhood Family Education Teacher, I would never have imagined that over the years (as Coordinator and then as EC Programs Manager) the early childhood programs would grow from four classrooms in a wing of the High School complex to 15 classrooms in five sites.

I have been proud to work in an organization that truly lives its values and vision and genuinely cares about its students, families, and staff. I’d like to give a huge “thank you” to the amazing EC staff who provide outstanding programming for our youngest learners and have made my work a joy. I will treasure the memories of our time together. Looking back over the years, a meaningful highlight of my work was helping to create and lead a partnership between school districts, hospitals, and county agencies called “Healthy Start Anoka County.” This unique partnership worked together for the common goal of supporting the healthy development of young children across the county. As I retire from my position, I’ll explore new ways to serve/help in the community and look forward to having more time with family and friends. I also plan to spend more time in the great outdoors; fishing, hiking and kayaking.

Lori Henry

Lori Henry

Spring Lake Park High School
Family and Consumer Science Teacher
1993-2022

I spent 29 years at Spring Lake Park High School teaching Culinary Arts, Early Childhood, Housing, Family Life and Consumer Education, and as an Adviser to Family Career and Community Leaders of America. I started as a 1-year long-term sub and became full-time the second year I was here. There are too many teachers, staff, and students over the years to THANK for my time here at SLPHS as they’ve all have made a mark on my teaching profession and/or personal life. It’s rewarding to think of all the students I’ve impacted over the years and in their development of valuable life skills and career readiness. I’m especially proud of these moments in my career: Spring Lake Park Teacher of the Year 2007-2008, Induction into the National FCCLA Hall of Fame 2020, and Minnesota and National Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year 2021. For retirement, I plan to just have some “me” time and relax. I plan on volunteering and doing service projects as that has always been a part of who I am. I enjoy giving back and helping others.

Cindy Jones

Cindy Jones

Park Terrace Elementary
Special Education Paraprofessional
1995-2022

I have been fortunate to work at Park Terrace for 26 years. I started as a kindergarten para in the classroom, then title 1/basic skills, instructional for food service, office para for food service and finishing as a special education para. My Panther Pride started with enrolling our two daughters in the district, both who are now grads of SLP. They both attended SLP K-12. What I will miss most of my PT family is the support, thoughtfulness, care and kindness they show each day. There are so many people to thank...I hope through all the years, I have expressed my gratitude to all of them. My proudest moments have always been when one of my students achieved a skill they worked so hard towards. The smiles on their faces are indescribable. It fills my bucket! Retirement: no; Refocusing: yes! My husband and I plan to do some traveling. I’m not sure what other things we will be doing, but I know the next path on life’s journey will be incredible.

Michael Miller

Michael Miller

Spring Lake Park High School
Spanish Teacher
1986-2022

Other than a one year teaching internship in the Stillwater district, I’ve spent my entire career as a high school Spanish teacher at Spring Lake Park High School. In addition to being a classroom teacher, I have enjoyed coaching Cross Country Running (23 seasons), Track (13 seasons) and Nordic Skiing (29 seasons). I plan to continue coaching Skiing next season. I am incredibly thankful for my department members for their constant support and willingness to cooperate and share. I feel a very special bond with them. I am very proud of the work our department did to bring college courses to the High School so that students could actually complete 12 college credits in Spanish through the University of Minnesota State Mankato while they attend our high school. Few schools can say the same. In retirement, I think I’ll skip being a Walmart greeter for now. I know there will be some traveling and I’d like to check riding my bicycle across the US off my bucket list.

Bob Schneider

Bob Schneider

Westwood Schools
6th Grade Teacher
2000-2022

I started as a substitute teacher in September 1984 in the St. Cloud School District. My first full-time position was as a 6th grade teacher in Cosmos, MN and then taught and coached in various MN districts and was a Charter school principal the 5 years prior to coming to Spring Lake Park. I am proud of so many outstanding students that I have had the pleasure of teaching along with many supportive parents over the years. I will miss the laughs with my colleagues! Spring Lake Park has many excellent teachers, and I will miss seeing them daily. A big thank you to the many teammates that have put up with me! A special thank you to my 5th grade teacher, Ms. Lerum, who came along at an important stage in my life and made me feel important. I have always hoped that I could bring some of that feeling to my students. It was a big honor to be named Teacher of the Year in 2016, considering the quality of the teachers in our district! During retirement, I’ll hopefully be enjoying a lot of golf, working in my woodshop and taking care of my boys, my cats and my grandchildren. Hopefully, I’ll also have a few more road trips with our camper!

Doug Stahl

Doug Stahl

District Services Center
Facilities Supervisor
1980-2021

I started as a custodian across the district before becoming the facilities supervisor for the district. I attended school here and then worked here which adds up to my entire life! I also open-enrolled my kid here. I love SLP and all of its employees. A proud moment was helping to re-design our new football turf field to not lift during heavy rainstorms - currently, it’s still working well! During retirement, we’ll travel in our RV to different national parks, I will work on my classic cars and motorcycles, and ride snowmobiles with my family while still helping out where needed.

Susan Vorlicky

Susan Vorlicky

Westwood Schools
Nutrition Services Cook
2001-2022

I am proud to be a Panther because it seems like we are a family within the district. Everyone had the same goal - to make things work. If we were lucky, it was 98% smiles and laughter! My favorite time was being able to feel like I could give some of the kids that first smile of the day at breakfast. During retirement, I am going to try to get organized. I’ve always also enjoyed taking community education classes.

Chuck Wallace

Chuck Wallace

Spring Lake Park High School
Security
1994-2022

I’ve worked at SLPHS serving in an administrative/security capacity at the front desk. I’ve also assisted the theater department with set work and stage props and painting. For band and choir, I helped with talent show productions and chaperoning trips. I also helped other integral programs of SLPHS like Panther Mentors, FCCLA, OEC, Student Council and the Senior All Night Party. One of my proudest moments is helping to create the Patriots Marching Band in 1986 after working with St. Anthony Village HS Marching Band for 8 years. Their band was getting too small, so we decided to form a multi-school marching band (St. Anthony Village, Columbia Heights, Fridley and Spring Lake Park). I am writing a book on the SLPHS history. During retirement, I will continue working with the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club (28th year) and continue working with national parade TV productions.

Judy Wetterlund

Judy Wetterlund

Spring Lake Park High School
Special Education Paraprofessional
1994-2022

I started in the SLP district as a substitute. During my third year as a sub, I took a long-term position with the preschool program. At the end of the year, I was asked to stay on in that position, which I did for 12 years. Working in the preschool program taught me many things and I’m grateful for it. Then I moved to the high school as a DCD para. I started out as Mr. Laudert’s para, then moved into Mrs. Fruznya’s classroom where I’ve spent many wonderful years. A big shout-out goes to the HS science team whom I’ve worked closely with. My husband and his siblings all graduated from SLP. My five children also grew up in the district, from preschool through their graduation! My true highlight is when students say to me, “Because you helped me, I passed my classes.” The hardest part of leaving is having a student ask me not to retire. “Please stay until I graduate,” they say. I have said, “Ok, I’ll stay,” but this year sadly I’ve said, “I need to go.” My retirement brings the opportunity to travel all over the US, visiting my grandkids from Washington state to Florida! I will miss you all, from the great students I’ve served to the fabulous teachers with who I have worked alongside. You have all taught me much through my journey! It has been a privilege to have served at SLP! God bless!

Thank you for all you have done to support Spring Lake Park Schools' students!