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Congratulations and thank you! EPS honors fall retirees

Oct. 29, 2020 - Fourteen District employees retired this fall. Collectively, they contributed 267 years of service to Edina students, families and colleagues. Our hope is that the traditional, in-person retirement celebration will be able to happen in the spring, and these fall retirees will be invited to that event. However, we want to thank and honor them now, and give the community a chance to do the same, as these former employees begin their retirement adventure.

We invited retirees to share about their time at EPS and their future plans.

Patrick Anderson
Physics Teacher | Edina High School
27 Years of Service

  • What are some of your favorite memories from your time working in Edina Public Schools?
    • My favorite memories center around student success: Student-built rockets soaring over 200 meters into the South View south field, hot air balloons lifting up over the school, clear images appearing as students take and develop film from pinhole cameras... Rube Goldberg machines!... Observing the "aha" moment after a student works out the solution to a difficult physics problem.  These moments sustained me throughout my career. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the good times I had with the Funky Freshmen team at South View and the physics team at the high school. All of your support and friendship helped to make my career at Edina productive and rewarding.
  • What are your retirement plans?
    • My plans for retirement are simple: Wait out the pandemic and go from there!

“Patrick Anderson was a wonderful colleague who, along with his audible love of coffee, always brought the perfect blend of curmudgeon and Zen master to his interactions with students and staff. He was a strong advocate for his students’ social/emotional needs along with their academic needs, and an excellent mentor to the younger physics staff. He is already missed in the department, and his contributions to the collaborative team atmosphere in Physics will last well beyond his tenure.” -The EHS Science Department

Sara Janousek
Grade 1 Teacher | Normandale Elementary
16 Years of Service

  • What are some of your favorite memories from your time working in Edina Public Schools?
    • Halloween 2019 with the first grade team and interns at Normandale.  We decided to dress up like Hercules from the Disney movie.  Our intern Valentin was Sara Janousek Hercules and the rest of us were the Goddesses.  We went from one class to another, singing the song from the movie, carrying posters with each letter of H E R C U L E S on them, lining up to spell it with the students in French.  It was a blast! Experiencing all of my first graders learning to read in French.  It's extraordinary to teach reading to young children and witness their progress each and everyday, and for me, knowing they all learned to read in French was the pinnacle of my career at Normandale. Meeting and collaborating with the first grade team on a daily basis during distance learning from March 2020 until the end of the year and my retirement from EPS.  We treated each other with kindness and supported each other as much as we could, dividing up the workload and delivering the best content to our students as possible.  I was so thankful to be part of such a fantastic team of teachers at such a trying time in our world. Sharing students with one of my colleagues in 4th grade.  It was great to strategize on how best to motivate certain students with another teacher who knew the students as well as I did.  Being able to collaborate professionally and then work proactively with parents to create the best learning environment for the older elementary school students was wonderful. In the summer, from 2013, and then again from 2016 to 2018, I, along with other amazing Normandale teachers, chaperoned Normandale graduated 5th graders to Bordeaux, France where we all stayed with French families for 10 days, attending school and going on extraordinary field trips in southwestern France.  For most of those years, this was a "back to back" program where French students from the Bordeaux area, came to stay with some of our Normandale families in February to experience American life and to learn more English.  It was wonderful having these young French students and chaperones at our school for two weeks in the winter and they loved their family stays in our community.  Also, it was an honor to accompany these young, fluent in French, Edina students to France, watching each day as their confidence in themselves and in the language grew astronomically.
  • What are your retirement plans?
    • I plan to do activities I love but don't have enough time to do when I am working, such as playing the harp, playing tennis in the summer and skiing in the winter.  Also, I enjoy writing and may think about how I can incorporate more of that in my daily life.  Finally, I'll continue to do my best to share my qualities, such as compassion and finding the "shining quality" in others in order to make my corner of the world a better place.

“Teaching at Normandale was a second career for Sara that combined her love of kids with her love of French language and culture. Sara’s calm and warm personality helped make math, science, social studies and language arts in French come alive for her students. Sara’s efforts to share her love of French language and culture did not stop at Normandale’s walls. On multiple occasions Sara bravely took fifth graders to Bordeaux, France for cultural exchanges!” -Principal Chris Holden, Normandale Elementary

Anita Rivera
Grade 5 Teacher | Normandale ElementaryAnita Rivera
17 Years of Service

  • What are some of your favorite memories from your time working in Edina Public Schools?
    • One of my favorite memories from the Edina Public Schools is seeing students articulate their learning. From teaching third and fourth grade at Normandale to being part of the World Language Departments at both middle schools and high school, witnessing students interact with their reasoning, struggle in reflection and apply new-found knowledge has been the most rewarding experience during my tenure and equally as enriching for me as a new retiree. 
  • What are your retirement plans?
    • The skills I’ve practiced for 16 years have helped me cope with the first two months away from the learning community. Rather than grieve the abrupt end of a career I enjoyed, I realize now that “once a teacher, always a life-long learner.” I will continue challenging myself in my photography and writing skills while taking on videography and songwriting. 

“During her time in Edina, Anita had the unique experience of teaching elementary age and high school age students. Whether teaching language arts in French at Normandale, or traditional French classes at the high school, students benefited from Anita’s love of literature, writing and theater. As a published author, this passion was translated to Normandale’s third graders whose first exposure to formal English Language Arts instruction is in third grade. Anita was the perfect person for this initiation!” -Principal Chris Holden, Normandale Elementary

Richard Reynolds
Bus Driver | Transportation
50 Years of Service

  • What are some of your favorite memories from your time working in Edina Public Schools?
    • It was cool to move from the old place to the new Transportation building. A favorite memory is just all the people I got to know and see come and go over all those years. A lot of kids that rode my bus as kids see me later on when they become adults and say, “You were my bus driver!” One woman in particular walked up to my bus when I was picking up near South View and said “You must’ve been driving one of these for a long time cuz I’m almost 40 and I rode your bus!” But you get to see the kids grow up into great people.
    • Was a janitor driver from 70s - ‘96, then he retired to do part time driving
  • What are your retirement plans?
    • I didn’t really want to retire, but I wanted to be safe, since I’m 86. So I’ve basically been just putzing around the house, fixing things that need to be fixed. We’ve even contemplated moving, but it’ll depend on COVID. My wife and I like to travel a lot and see relatives, so we hope to do that again soon, maybe even do some bus tours with some senior groups. For now, lots of crossword puzzles and connecting with our kids.

“Reny was an employee at Edina Public Schools for over 50 years. Everyone loved Reny as the Bus Garage joke teller. He always made people laugh. We will all miss seeing Reny every day.” -Betsy Downs, Assistant Supervisor of Transportation Services

Jackie Roehl
English Teacher | Edina High School
26 Years of ServiceJackie Roehl

  • What are some of your favorite memories from your time working in Edina Public Schools?
    • My favorite memories involve the students who never ceased to awe me with their insights into life through literature. The Edina students who participated in the Bdote (Fort Snelling State Park) seminars will always hold a special place in my heart since they embraced learning from Dakota and Ojibwa authors, artists, and scholars to broaden their perspectives on our land. My favorite memories with staff at Edina Public Schools were working on equity issues and trying to dismantle systemic racism so that all students had an opportunity to access the highest levels of learning. The Edina High School English Department and Equity Team members were trusted and talented colleagues on this journey. I also especially enjoyed learning from some of the smartest consultants in the nation - Yvette Jackson, Eric Cooper, and LaVerne Flowers from the National Urban Alliance, Glenn Singleton from Pacific Educational Group, and Heather Hackman from Hackman Consulting Group. I would not have been named the 2012 Minnesota Teacher of the Year without their influence.
  • What are your retirement plans?
    • Retirement has me busy. I just finished writing the first three chapters of my dissertation and will begin data collection in the next few months. When my dissertation is finished, I plan to return to my previous work as an adjunct professor to help prepare future teachers. I’m also preparing for my one-year-old grandson, Everett, to move back to Minnesota next June. Then, I’ll be spending lots of time gardening, traveling, and reading to Everett.

“Jackie Roehl started her teaching career in Edina Public Schools as a student teacher, followed a few years later by 21 amazing years in the classroom at Edina High School.  During that time, she repeatedly demonstrated her creativity and knowledge as a teacher, and she inspired her colleagues as a passionate advocate for social justice and racial equity.  Although we already miss her terribly, we know that her time is well-spent finishing her PhD dissertation, traveling, and spending time with her grandson, Everett. Many congratulations on your well-earned retirement, Jackie!” -Kari Discher, EHS English Teacher

Doris Sternberg
Math Teacher | Edina High School
16 Years of ServiceDoris Sternberg

  • What are some of your favorite memories from your time working in Edina Public Schools?
    • Lunch! I always looked forward to hanging out with the department during our lunch break, especially on treat days. I worked with the best and will miss them!   
  • What are your retirement plans?
    • Currently I am providing some assistance to my elderly mom and I am Daycare Nanna for my grandson three days each week. These are the lowest paying jobs I've ever had but so worth it and will do this for the near future. I am spending more time at the cabin and working on some home improvement projects. Of course travel is on my list but like nearly everyone else, that's on hold.

“Doris Sternberg was a passionate math teacher at Edina High School. She always wanted to do what was best for students. The way she explained concepts helped so many students advance their understanding of the material. We are grateful for all her years at Edina High School and for all that she did to help so many students in her time here. She was an incredible colleague who was always willing to help.  We miss her greatly in our department but are so happy that she is able to now enjoy more time with her grandchild!” -Laura Slominski, EHS Math Teacher


Michael Anderson
Grade 1-3 Continuous Progress Teacher | Highlands Elementary
22 Years of Service

“Michael Anderson has been a beloved teacher at Highlands for years. He taught in the Discovery and Continuous Progress programs. Michael’s passion for the arts, love of learning and building meaningful relationships with students and families has made him a cherished member of the Highlands community. We only wish him well on life’s next adventure.“ -Principal Katie Mahoney, Highlands Elementary

Mary Cutshall
Paraprofessional | Early Learning Center
12 Years of Service

“Mary has served as a dedicated classroom assistant for years. Most recently she worked closely in our littlest classrooms with babies. Mary’s quiet, kind, and gentle demeanor always made it safe for an upset baby or toddler that needed a hug. Her stellar work ethic, professionalism, and dedication to kids and families will be missed. We thank Mary greatly for her service.” -ELC Coordinator Leah Byrd

Christopher Dalki
Social Studies Teacher | Edina High School
15 Years of Service

“Chris Dalki taught at Edina High School for more than a decade and will be most remembered for the relationships that he built with students. Students wanted to be a part of his classes because of his positive attitude and outlook on life. As a colleague, he will be missed because he was always supportive and willing to listen to anyone who came to have a conversation. Chris Dalki is missed on a daily basis.” -Bradley Dahlman, EHS Social Studies Teacher

Tracy Dauwalter
PE Teacher | Highlands Elementary
14 Years of Service

“Tracy Dauwalter was special education case manager and teacher at Highlands. She was a tireless and passionate advocate for all children, but especially for those who needed it the most. Tracy’s love of learning and creative ways of accommodating learning to be fun and engaging was unmatched. We will miss Tracy here in the halls of Highlands. We truly wish her well on life’s next adventure.”  -Principal Katie Mahoney, Highlands Elementary

Lisa Hoffman
ECFE Teacher | Early Learning Center
35 Years of Service

“For many families in EPS Teacher Lisa was their first experience with school.  Her bright smile, warm hugs, and constant reassurance (for kids and parents) helped with the transition of going to school. Lisa created an environment in which kids could explore, make new friends, and learn through play. Parents appreciated her dedication to their child’s growth, but also the learning adults develop through ECFE. Lisa’s passion, commitment, and dedication will be missed. We thank her deeply for her service.” -ELC Coordinator Leah Byrd

John Timothy Martin
Bus Driver | Transportation
3 Years of Service

“Tim was very dedicated to his job. He truly enjoyed all of his students and they loved him. We are sorry to see him go.” -Betsy Downs, Assistant Supervisor of Transportation Services

Marlys Ousky
Title 1 Teacher | Cornelia Elementary
12 Years of Service

“Marlys dedicated her time as an educator in Title 1 to serving students needing academic support. She cared deeply for the success of students and was always there to think of the best ways to support them whether that be with social emotional support, resources, or the confidence to achieve their goals. Always the problem solver, she worked with 3 different principals and was always flexible to the changing needs in education and programs leading our students and staff through the changes. However, she served Cornelia as more than just an educator, she was an advocate, a PTO member, a beacon of positivity, and supporter of all things Cornelia. Her impact on our students and staff is immeasurable.” -Principal Lisa Masica, Cornelia Elementary

Leif Ruona
Bus Driver | Transportation
2 Years of Service

“Leif was an athletics driver. He loved watching all the teams he drove. He will be missed.” -Betsy Downs, Assistant Supervisor of Transportation Services