Ringing the bells into retirement: Windsor-Severance school district employees honored at retirement celebration
May 21, 2017
Retiring Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District employees
The teachers and other employees who retired Wednesday night and their years of service in the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District are as follows: Teri Goodwin, 33 years; Laurie Purdy, 26 years; Susan Grande, 16 years; Carol Haworth, 7 years; Deb Pemberton, 17 years; Kathy Baker, 16 years; Ellen Nettleton, 16 years; Scott Vosler, 10 years; and Laura Stoneman, 16 years.
Scott Vosler still has the bell his mother used to ring at the one-room schoolhouse where she taught elementary school. On Wednesday night, he got his own bell, which he rang as a symbol of his impending retirement.
Vosler was one of 10 Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District employees who rang the bells they received Wednesday night for their retirement at the Fireside Room in Windsor High School. The room was also retired, as it will soon be replaced with a new innovation center at the school in the upcoming construction.
When he came to the front of the room to say a few words, Vosler pointed out the black collared shirt he was wearing.
He first began teaching in 1987 in Julesburg.
“My first year I taught third grade then I moved with those poor kids to fourth grade, then I taught fifth grade” Scott Vosler
"My first year I taught third grade, then I moved with those poor kids to fourth grade, then I taught fifth grade," he said, and many in the room laughed.
But the students he taught remembered Vosler for staying with them: They asked him to speak at their high school graduation in 1995.
"I had to go buy a new shirt because I didn't have anything to wear," he said. "This was the shirt."
As he looks forward to more time to travel, Vosler's daughter, Kylie Vosler, is following in her father and grandmother's footsteps as she teaches fourth grade in Phoenix, Ariz.
Vosler began teaching in the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District 10 years ago, at Grandview Elementary. After living for 20 years in Julesburg, Vosler said he found a family in Windsor with the "amazing people" in the school district.
Principals and department heads thanked employees, often fighting tears as they said farewell.
When Dave Grubbs, principal of Grandview Elementary, spoke about Vosler, Ellen Nettleton and Kim Emmerson, who also were teachers at Grandview, he said all had a reputation for bringing joy to their classrooms.
He remembered one fourth-grader didn't want to leave Nettleton's class at the end of the year.
"She said, 'I would eat a bug to stay in her class,'" Grubbs said.
After many hugs and some tears, district employees rang their bells in celebration and farewell, a tradition many said they had been looking forward to.
"I've been waiting 35 years to ring this," said Laurie Purdy, literary specialist at Tozer Primary School.
Vosler said his bell now will join his mother's.