Lake Mills Area School District teachers and staff were recognized by the Board of Education Oct. 8 for their longevity with the district.
Those recognized include: Beth Cordy, 25 years; Glenn Schuenke, Monica Yandre and Sandy Zimmerman, 30 years.
Cordy says her journey began 45 years ago in her kindergarten classroom at Schurz Elementary School in Watertown.
“The day I met my teacher, Mrs. Christenson, is the day I knew I would be a teacher,” Cordy wrote in a letter to the board. “My desire to teach was solidified in third grade when I spent a year with Miss Koeppel.”
She says she always wanted to be a third-grade teacher.
“My dream came true in 1991 when I was hired to teach third grade in in Merrill.”
She came to Lake Mills to teach third grade two years later. Cordy taught third grade for 20 years before switching to second grade five years ago.
“It turns out that I love second graders just as much as third graders,” she wrote.
Cordy values her 25 years in Lake Mills.
“When I think about my 25 years in Lake Mills, I think about the more than 500 students I’ve taught, and that there are more than 500 young people who hopefully carry a piece of my heart with them, as I have a piece of every student I’ve ever taught tucked away inside my heart.”
Schuenke thanked his family for supporting him through his 30 years of teaching social studies at Lake Mills High School.
“I’m especially grateful for the inspiration and encouragement given to me by my wife Lisa and son Charlie,” he wrote in his letter to the board.
He has been fortunate he says to work with nurturing, caring, supportive colleagues.
“I can assure the citizens of the Lake Mills School District your children are well cared for.”
Schuenke said the autonomy given to teachers by the administrators and school boards in the district over the years has been instrumental in the education process.
“Every administrator I’ve worked with has encouraged teachers to be risk takers,” he wrote. “I’d like to issue a special thank you to former principal Boyd Forest, who trusted me enough to hire me.”
Schuenke said his students over the years made it easy to come to work every day.
“I believe the foundation of good teaching is building strong relationships with students. That’s always what I’ve tried to do,” he wrote. “Most of all I’m proud to be a part of a public education system that lives the philosophy of, ‘every student, every day.’”
Yandre has taught special education in Lake Mills for 30 years.
She received her bachelor and master’s degrees in special education from UW-Madison. She has taught at the elementary, middle and high schools.
“I’ve worked with all ages from kindergarten through post 12th grade,” she wrote. “I’ve been a mentor for new teachers since the mentoring program began.”
She facilitated professional development in the areas of autism, classroom management and behavior support programs.
School Board President Dr. Richard Mason said, “Monica is too humblae to share that she is an outstanding teacher who has positively impacted the lives of countless students with disabilities within the school walls and the community.”
Zimmerman, who is now retired, served the district in food service for 30 years. She spent most of her years as the food service lead at the elementary school.
“She became known as the breakfast lady,” Mason said. “She was the original server when the district began the breakfast program. She was the first, ‘Hello’ and smile for many students to start their day.”
Zimmerman helped to design the new green elementary school building and worked as a custodian.
“We truly appreciate Sandy’s flexibility and dedication to our staff and students,” Mason said.
“Thank you to all our recipients,” Mason said.