On May 11, administrators joined some of the district’s retirees for the annual Excellence in Education breakfast. At this event, principals share memories of and appreciation for our retiring staff members, who this year have a combined 228 years of service at Crown Point Community School Corporation.
“I want to thank each of you for the legacy you’re leaving, which will continue in future years. We have a range of people from various positions in the district retiring this year. It truly shows that a good school district has every person, not just teachers, caring for our students,” Superintendent Dr. Terrill said.
Retirees for the 2022 school year include:
Kathy Midkiff - Jerry Ross Elementary - 14 years
Kathy is a third grade teacher at Jerry Ross and is looking forward to spending time with her husband and grandchildren in retirement - and even doing a triathlon! Principal Jenn Linsley shared that “Kids don’t care what you know until they know you care” and that no one builds relationships with students like Kathy. “She has a vibrant, loving, amazing energy.” She was a former CPCSC Teacher of the Year.
Kathy said one of her fondest memories at school was during one of the most difficult times in her personal life. “I’ll never forget that when I came into school one day, all of the third grade students had a butterfly on every locker to show their support.” “We go through trials together at school - we are each other’s family,” Linsley said.
Georgia Durant - Winfield Elementary - 19 years
Georgia began teaching in Crown Point in 1999 and has worked under the direction of seven principals. Principal Jillian Alonzo said that Georgia brings passion to her job every day, and that students who don’t always have success academically have shined in Georgia’s music classes.
Georgia said faith comes first in her life, and music second. She’s grateful to have had school as a part of her life in challenging times. “Teaching is like getting your bucket filled everyday,” she said. Her favorite sound is hearing students sing, and she’s hoping her legacy will be similar to the final song of the year she’s teaching her kindergarten classes. It’s titled “Forward.”
She is planning to relocate to the South, spend time traveling, and support the efforts of Habitat for Humanity.
Valerie Lachowicz - Winfield Elementary - 36 years
Valerie has a total of 40 years of service as an elementary teacher. “Her spot will be difficult to fill,” said principal Jillian Alonzo. “There’s going to be unmatched knowledge that you bring to our team.”
Valerie will be a grandmother for the first time this fall and intends to spend a lot of time with her family. Her favorite memories from teaching include units of science. “Kids love science, and those lessons were just the best.” She enjoys hearing about all of the different career and education paths her students have pursued as adults.
“She is a fun spirit,” said Alonzo. “She really enjoys life and models what it means to have a work/life balance.”
Tom Reed - Crown Point High School - 35 years
Mr. Reed is retiring after 35 years of working with Crown Point middle and high school bands and orchestras. Mr. Marcinek, CPHS principal, said Tom’s legacy is “one of kindness and compassion while producing excellence.” He was a Crystal Bell award recipient in 2009.
Upon retirement, Tom plans to spend more time on his farm where his family raises livestock, give trumpet lessons, and play the trumpet at community events. “I feel fortunate to have worked with such great people,” Tom said. “I will really miss the people. It’s a job and a half, but yet we do it.”
Coleen Viers - Col. Wheeler Middle School - 15 years
Crown Point Schools have been part of Coleen’s entire life. Her mom was a bookkeeper at Taft, and her late brother taught at Taft for 40 years. “We know what we’ve had with Coleen,” said Principal Jake Rodriguez. “Trustworthy, caring, dependable, and willing to help lead improvement with a positive approach. There will be a void in our guidance office.”
Coleen will spend time with her grandchildren in retirement. She said she’s enjoyed helping students navigate the “middle school mental maze” and has loved their smiles and laughter. She says she will visit Col. Wheeler as long as Mr. Rodriguez doesn’t sing the song “Jolene” to her again.
Julie Woodburn - Crown Point High School - 33 years
Julie is part of a family legacy of educators in Crown Point - her dad taught at CPHS, too. “She is red and white, through and through,” principal Russ Marcinek said. After 33 years in media/library positions in the district, Julie now plans to spend more time at Hermit Lake.
Over the last 30+ years, library sciences and media have changed, and Julie led staying on top of those changes. “Recently she reinvisioned and redesigned our Learning Commons as a welcoming, student-centered space that’s utilized much more,” Marcinek said.
“We are all here because we love kids,” Julie said. Julie shared that she has kept in touch with a third grade student she had while student teaching. That third grade student is grown with three kids of her own at Crown Point High School. “I have totally loved my job,” Julie said.
The following individuals were not able to attend the breakfast, but our entire school community extends a very special thank you for their years of service. THANK YOU for making a difference in the lives of our students and the Crown Point community.
Kathryn Greene - Custodian - Learning Center - 2 years
Karen Robertson - Custodian - Eisenhower Elementary - 1 year
Kim Ferraro - IT Support Specialist - Taft Middle School - 32 years
Ed Topp - Construction Teacher - Crown Point High School - 41 years