BLACKFOOT – Every year at about this time, teachers are preparing for the summer months just as the students are, but each year, districts have to say "goodbye" to those retiring and "hello" to those just starting.
This year is no different, as Blackfoot School District held its recognition event for those teachers who are retiring.
Brian Kress, Superintendent of the Blackfoot School District emceed the ceremony and shared memories involving many of the retirees. Kress began with expressing that he feels that the district is a family, although there are times that it may be dysfunctional, when it comes time, differences are looked past and progress is made. This segwayed into what Kress wanted to announce in expressing the performance of the district. Blackfoot has exceeded the state in eight different categories on the Idaho State Aptitude Tests (ISATs), met state levels on three, and were only behind the state levels in three areas. Kress explained his belief that this shows that in Blackfoot, great progress is being made. "We are headed in the right direction," Kress exclaimed.
Kress continued with that they must continue to work together, and take a proactive approach going forward. Kress expressed the need for this in conjunction with the changes coming from the state where the elected education positions will now be voted on during the normal election season, rather than being in May as it has been in the past. After making this announcement, Kress deferred to the reason the ceremony was taking place; retirements in the district.
Lance Baguley was a seventh-grade geography teacher for years, and when given the opportunity to make a career change and begin teaching at Independence High School, Baguley took the bull by the horns. Former students of Baguley express fond memories of him, as he constantly made his classes enjoyable, engaging, and overall a positive learning environment. Baguley served his first year teaching seventh-grade geography in Shelley before making the change to Mountain View Middle School where he taught for 23 years. He finished out the last six years of his teaching career at Independence High School in Blackfoot. Baguley addressed those in attendance with gratitude, and wanted to thank everyone who has made his career possible.
Dave Brenchley decided to retire based on his person feelings of not being ready to handle another school year. Brenchley spoke about the history of the district and how it used to include the whole county and how he attributes his return to the district to Mrs. Walker who called him 24 years ago asking him to reapply for his old position. 24 years later, Brenchley is addressing the rest of the educators expressing hope for the future.
Laurel Brummond was not in attendance.
Thain Cashmore was a light in the science hall at Blackfoot High School. Often students would find Cashmore involved in sports as a coach as well as an engaging teacher. He took the role of head wrestling coach when Brian Barlow retired, and has kept the Blackfoot wrestling team competitive throughout the years. Cashmore will continue coaching after his retirement, as he put it, "It's hard to quit all of this cold turkey." Cashmore started teaching at Blackfoot High School in 1989, and has watched the curriculum come full circle. He explained that the school has had many changes as well as the curriculum, and it is now back to the same classes with the same base material as it was when he started. "It's the circle of life," Cashmore said jokingly.
Layne Elison did not want any thanks for his years of service and said it all belongs to the students. He begrudgingly received thanks from his colleagues and friends for his many years of hard work. Elison disrobed the shop coat he had covering his T-shirt that expressed exactly what he finished his speech with, "I'm officially retired, and I'm going fishing."
Pete Golinveaux is not just a wood-shop teacher, but rather a difference maker. Golinveaux is known for going against the grain, often telling his students to call him Pete. Golinveaux spends his time doing everything in his power to make an impact on the students of today, so they can make the right choices tomorrow. Golinveaux joked that he had to retire because former shop teacher Mr. Chapman did all of his paperwork and without his help, he probably wouldn't make it another year. Golinveaux has been a teacher for 20 years and spent five years previous to that working in maintenance.
Rose Jex thanked her husband and brother for always supporting everything she has done, and thanked her extended family of educators for all the love and support they have given. She expressed that she will miss her family at Independence High School, but knows that they will continue to thrive. Jex, who has spent her summers in Arizona and the school year in Blackfoot expressed that she will finally know what it's like to not have to shovel snow.
Trish Moore chose not to speak, but that didn't stop Superintendent Brian Kress from expressing how she will be missed as she is, "The backbone of the district."
Julia Nilsson thanked everyone that has influenced her as an educator, and expressed that she wants everyone to know that they are loved.
Agnes Schreier was absent from the event, but will be missed.
Dori Stevenson has worked with the district for 22 years. "We are a family," Stevenson stated. "It's been a real honor to work with all of you."
Debra St. John is known for giving great advice according to Kress, and has been an integral part of the learning process of the children. St. John has been a life long kindergarten educator and spent many years at Irving Kindergarten Center before she made the transition to Ridgecrest Elementary where she continued to teach kindergarteners. "The kids, they are what make it worth it," St. John stated as she returned to her seat.
Evona Young has spent many years as part of the kitchen staff for the district and will be heavily missed. She passed on making a speech.
After the last retiree was announced and given the chance to address their peers, the crowd erupted in applause with a standing ovation.
Following the formal ceremony, the teachers met with friends, family, parents, and former students alike for a cake social. Each of those retiring were bombarded with questions from people.Attendees posed inquiries as to what they will be doing with their retirement, to how many years each of the teachers have taught, to the occasional "I think you had my child in your class".