MCAS Honors 21 Retirees
Michigan City Area Schools honored 21 employees who are retiring this year - many of whom have 25, 30, 35 or more years of service! A special dinner in their honor, sponsored by MCAS and the Michigan City Education Association, was held on June 4 at Blue Chip.
In addition, five former MCAS employees were inducted into the 2018 MCAS "And then Some" Wall of Fame, which is permanently housed in Heritage Hall at Michigan City High School.
Wall of Fame inductees (pictured above) included (L-R): Former teacher and coach Cheryl Bohlim (deceased; pictured is her friend and colleague Nancy Eagan); Former teacher and curriculum coach Dianne Lindenmeyer; Former paraprofessional Charmaine Tompkins; Former teacher, theater director and radio/TV services coordinator Stan Holdcraft; and Former library media specialist and teacher Jane Malott.
Congratulations to the 2018 MCAS Retirees (17 are pictured above, in a photo taken following the retirement dinner honoring them) and THANK YOU for your many years of service to our students!
Nancy Benson (21 years) was an English teacher at Elston from 1997-1999 and spent the rest of her MCAS career at Michigan City High School teaching 9th, 10th, and 11th grade English. For the past few years, she has taught English for students in the Early College program at MCHS.
Patricia Breitzka (33 years) knows her way around town! She has driven a school bus for the Transportation department since 1984. Patricia is now looking forward to waking up later than 4:30 every morning, and she plans to focus on quilting, traveling, and spending more time with her daughters.
Lorie Butler (20 years) began her teaching career with MCAS in 1998, as a teacher for students with emotional disabilities at Knapp. She spent the following 19 years as an Itinerant Teacher, traveling between parochial schools, the Mullen Building, and the A.K. Smith Career Center. Lorie won’t be slowing down any time soon, as she plans to work on construction projects, ride her motorcycle, and check every item off of her bucket list.
Cathy Glidden (21 years) has been a computer technician for MCAS since 1997, and she’s worked in every building! She’s ready to relax, play some golf, and travel.
Arlena Higgins (21 years) began working for MCAS as a paraprofessional 1997; she has worked at Eastport, Park, MCHS, and Krueger. Her retirement plans involve travel and visiting family and friends.
Lenore Ruth Hoard (31 years) spent her entire career in education with MCAS. She was a teacher for students with emotional disabilities at Krueger Middle School from 1987-2010, and served as Department Chair. During her time at Krueger, she coached volleyball and sponsored the Drama and Chess clubs. From 2011-2018, Lenore was a Resource teacher for Student Support Services at Michigan City High School. Upon retirement, she plans to find a job with less homework so she has more time to read, write, think, pray, and love.
Andrea Janes (27 years) spent a half-year stint as a math teacher’s assistant at Krueger before she began her career as an elementary teacher in 1992. Between 1992 and 2018, Andrea taught grades 2, 4, and 5 at Park, Niemann, Springfield, and Pine. In that time, she coached basketball and volleyball, assisted with after-school remediation, and volunteered as a chaperone for the Deserving Children’s Shopping Tour at Christmas. Retirement is just the beginning for Andrea, as she is opening an organic coffee shop and café with her daughter in St. Charles, IL, on the Fox River. They hope to be ready for customers by July 1st!
Bette Johnston (22½ years) has been a staple in the kitchens of MCAS since 1996, when she started as a kitchen helper. She is retiring as Food Service Manager at Springfield Elementary, where she has painted several beautiful murals to engage students in the cafeteria serving line. She also worked at St. Mary/Marquette and MCHS; over the years she’s also been a 1st Cook Satellite, Tech 3, and a Food Service Trainer. Bette worked the Summer Feeding Program for 18 years and all but one Back to School Rally. Now, she plans to sleep past 4:00 a.m., spend more time with her daughter, and enjoy winter in Florida.
Daniel Kilgore (45½ years) has been a MCAS school bus driver since 1971. He is looking forward to traveling and spending time with friends.
Victoria Krantz (17 years) began as a bus driver for MCAS in August of 2000 and retired in December of 2017. She can’t wait to travel – and especially wants to see Montana.
Bernadette Krueger (16 years) is retiring from the Food Service Department at (where else?) Krueger! She began her career with MCAS Food Service in 2002, holding the positions of Tech 1 and Tech 2 at Springfield Elementary, Michigan City High School, Elston Middle School, and finally Krueger Middle School. She is eager to spend time with her four adult children and eight grandchildren.
Susan Parry (26½ years) began her elementary teaching career in 1991 at Marsh – and has now taught at the school for more than 26 years. She also coached boys and girls basketball and soccer at Marsh. In retirement, she plans to enjoy traveling.
Anne Pearson (18 years) has had two careers with MCAS! From 1995-2007, she was a math teacher at Elston Middle School. In 2011, she returned as a Curriculum Coach at Lake Hills. Anne looks forward to spending retirement with her family, and especially her grandson.
Jody Presser (41 years) has been serving MCAS students with special needs since 1977, ranging from preschool to 8th grade. Over that time, she coached girls volleyball and the Michigan City High School Special Olympics team. Jody has worked at Krueger, Central, Joy, Lake Hills, and Niemann. After retiring, Jody will be moving to the “mini farm” in Hebron, with her chickens and goats! She also hopes to spend more time volunteering with the Scouts and CISV.
Janet Priebe-Protas (20 years) has been an instructional assistant for MCAS since 1998, working at Knapp, Joy, Springfield, Eastport, and Pine, and leading reading groups. She intends to “enjoy life,” spend time with family, and travel.
Janice Radford (24 ½ years) wore many hats for MCAS: Title 1 Director, Administrative Assistant to the Curriculum Director, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Co-Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and various other duties as needed! She was an Hours for Ours mentor for 16 years and says she’s “still mentoring into adulthood.” Retirement definitely isn’t slowing Jan down. She’s traveling (and contemplating moving out of the country), reading, gardening, writing books, creating art, diving into new cultures (learning Spanish and brushing up on her French), and smiling. A lot.
Debbie Sharp (25 years) was a bus driver for the MCAS Transportation department from 1993-2018. She is excited to do whatever she feels like doing, including traveling and spending more time with her grandkids.
Mariam Mussa Taha (17 years) taught Family and Consumer Sciences at Michigan City High School and at Elston Middle School, also serving as the Department Chair. Now that her career as an educator has concluded, Mariam plans to finally take care of all of the “around to-its” she’s been putting off for many years.
Myrna Weiland (25 years) began her career with MCAS at Rogers High School in 1992, and after working as an instructional assistant, receptionist, and nurse’s assistant, she retired in 2017.
Tonyette White (21 years) joined the MCAS Food Service team in 1997, working as a Tech 1 and Tech 3. Toni also worked for the Summer Food Service program for many years. She plans to find new employment and enjoy time with her family.
Renate Zavesky (33 years) After teaching for seven years in Merrillville, Renate began her MCAS teaching career in 1985. She spent one year as a Resource Room teacher, then went on to teach 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades at Coolspring and Marsh. Renate is “looking forward to living life at a slower pace!”