The Andover School District held a reception for seven employees who are retiring from the district after years of service to the students and community.
The retirees include Pat Moore, Karen Terry, Reba Hood, Julie Henderson, Russell Theil, Troy Brown Sr. and Tom Ostrander.
Ostrander served as Assistant Superintendent for the district. But he also served as the principal of Andover High School before moving to the district office.
As AHS principal, Ostrander saw the student population jump from under 600 to more than 900. He was instrumental in the decision to take the district from one high school to two.
As assistant superintendent, Ostrander has specialized in human relations services and has also overseen the substitute teacher program to make it more efficient and productive.
Ostrander said he loves being around people who care about kids and knows they are making a difference. He said he will miss the daily "unknowns" - never knowing where the next phone call or walk-in visitor may take him. He also said he will miss visiting with college seniors at the College Career Fairs.
Ostrander isn’t sure exactly what retirement will mean for his daily life.
“I’m still trying to figure that out - my wife says I am not staying home,” he said. “I hope to improve my golf game and definitely spend more time with grandchildren!”
Troy Brown Sr. served as a custodian for the district for more than nine years. He enjoys working on jigsaw puzzles, and in retirement he hopes to do some traveling, play with the grandkids and continue to bowl.
Russell Theil is retiring as the head of the Science Department at AHS, and for the last several years, he has taught chemistry, Honors Chemistry and AP Chemistry. At the first of his tenure in Andover about 12 years ago, he also taught some physics.
His hobbies include gardening, yard work, and woodworking. He said the administration in the building has always been supportive, and there has always been a consistent set of rules that the kids were expected to follow. “I have drawn enlightenment, encouragement, and support from other strong teachers that are in the building and district,” he said. His plans for retirement include volunteer work, work with his brothers “back on the farm,” and finding woodworking projects and home fix-it projects to do.
“I would like to thank the district and Andover High for allowing me to work with your kids,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to come to work every day and work with bright, motivated students. It is a joy to watch these “adults in training” grow and mature and become successful and productive people.”
Julie Henderson is retiring as a speech-language pathologist who works at both middle schools and both high schools in Andover. She has more than 26 years of service in Andover.
Page 2 of 2 - Her accomplishments while at Andover Public Schools include helping children to better communicate, whether nonverbally, through clearer speech, or by improving their social skills. Her plans for retirement include a road trip to Alaska this summer, and after, she and her husband look forward to spending time with friends and church family, especially hosting dinner parties in their home.
“Over the years I have also been assigned to Andover Elementary, Andover Intermediate, and Sunflower Elementary, so I have friends all over the district,” she said. “What will I miss most? It’s the people!”
Reba Hood has served 18 years in the district, most recently as a cashier and cook at Prairie Creek Elementary School.
She said she was so blessed to work with really great people and felt that everyone is so very nice. Her plans for retirement include getting a lot more crochet work done.
“For all of the 18 years I’ve worked in the district I met a lot of people and children. And they were all so very nice. It was fun to watch the children grow and change,” she said. “All of the people I worked with are each and every one super people. No one could ask for nicer people than all of you have been. Thank you to all of you.”
Karen Terry, librarian/media specialist at Andover Middle School, has been with the district 10 years.
She said she has loved working at AMS with exceptional teachers, staff and administrators, and lots of good kids who like to read. She said she will miss the people who have become like a family to her. Her hobbies include reading, camping and going to the YMCA.
Pat Moore teaches physical education, weights, and serves as an athletic trainer in the PE Department at Andover High School. He has worked there since 1986.
He has been awarded two Golden Apple awards by the district and was the first athletic trainer in the district.
While at Andover Public Schools he helped with the process of the new weight room, old weight room and training room. He said he will miss the support, the people, the parents and the kids. His plans for retirement include doing a lot of fishing in the mountains and working around the house.