San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 21st, 2008
From San Marcos CISD: Honoring retirees for 357 years of service

SUBMITTED PHOTO by IRIS CAMPBELL

San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District retirees honored with a school board reception on Monday include: (starting on front row) Hilario Zavala, Peggy Sabin, Deborah Ruff, Elsa Elliott, Amelia Bazan, Patty Maul, Julia Hoffman, Lois Hahn, Gloria Gonzales, Michael Elliott. Not shown: Dr. Betty Clere, Patty Fleming, Susan Glendenning, Louis Maloney and Tylene Tacker.

From the San Marcos school district

San Marcos CISD recognized 15 employees who are retiring this year with a total of 357 years of service to public education among them. The retirees were honored with a reception on Monday at Miller Junior High School prior to the regularly scheduled school board meeting, and the School Board further recognized the retiring staff during the meeting. The Human Resources Department presented each retiree with a corsage or boutonnière and a gift.

The 2008 retirees are: Amelia Bazan, Dr. Betty Clere, Elsa Elliott, Michael Elliott, Patty Fleming, Susan Glendenning, Gloria Gonzales, Lois Hahn, Julia Hoffman, Patricia Maul, Louis Maloney, Deborah Ruff, Peggy Sabin, Tylene Tacker, and Hilario Zavala.

Amelia Bazan taught at SMCISD for 27 years and was an instructional aide for two years, for a total of 29 years of service. She was a classroom teacher at both Miller and Goodnight Jr. Highs, and she was a junior high girls coach for ten years. Bazan is taking a year off “to live a conservative lifestyle” before pursuing a Masters degree in the field of Writing Across the Curriculum, doing community service with an Alzheimer’s Foundation, and taking time to enjoy her grandchildren and family. She says that she will miss the many relationships gained from teaching, and especially the students. “They have given me purpose in life, and for the most part, one that is irreplaceable. The stories of their lives will live in my heart forever.” Bazan was the Miller Teacher of the Year 1999-2000.

Dr. Betty Clere has been an educator for 26 years, the last seven at Travis Elementary as a Math Coach/Lead Teacher and Title Math Teacher. She looks forward to spending time with her grandchildren, traveling, quilting, and reading. She jokes that what she’ll miss most (in a favorable way) is “not having to get up at 5:30 am every morning to get to school.” Folks at Travis will miss Clere’s talent for grant writing, her sense of humor, special rapport with the students, and nurturing personality with the faculty.

Elsa Elliott is part of a husband and wife team who retired this year. Elsa Elliott spent 26 years in education, the last eight years at De Zavala Elementary as the campus receptionist, translator, and “a little bit of everything.” She and husband Michael are retiring to Bolivia, South America, where they will travel for the first year.

Michael Elliott has 30 years of education to his credit, the last eight at San Marcos High School as a Chemistry and Physics teacher. He first taught in Houston ISD and then in a U.S. school in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The Elliott family moved to San Marcos in 1990. Now as retirees, they plan to return to Bolivia. After a brief time of travel, Michael Elliott intends to return to teaching as long as he can. What he will miss most, he says, will be the students and staff of San Marcos High School.

Patty Fleming has taught for 17 years, eight at San Marcos CISD—first at the SMHS and finally at the Pathfinder Learning Center as an English teacher. She intends to care for her mother and to start her own business. Fleming is known for her classic demeanor whose example changed many girls and boys into ladies and gentlemen. She says that she will miss the “family of teachers, administrators, and the secretary with whom I’ve worked at Pathfinders, and some of the extraordinary relationships developed with the students.”

Susan Glendenning is better known as “Coach G” on SMCISD campuses. She’s worked in the District for 27 years, but in education for 29 years. She began as a P.E. teacher and coach at Goodnight Junior High in 1981, and continued for 13 years, also teaching a Business class. She became Department Head and Girls Athletic Coordinator at GNJH before transferring to Hernandez Intermediate School where she spent the next 14 years as a 5th grade P.E. teacher, teaching over 500 5th graders every day. She is also a bus driver for the district, so her days have routinely been 6 am to 6 pm. She intends to keep driving a school bus, but looks forward to the “down time” in between her morning and afternoon routes. She says of her students, “Each and every day, my kids made me laugh our loud …at the silly, wonderful way they think and act. I will miss that kind of laughter that comes from amazement and delight. There are no better comedians in the world than 5th graders. They are smart, funny, and have a terrific take on things. I’ll miss that the most.”

Gloria Gonzales has worked for the District almost 28 years, in many capacities and at several campuses. Her roles have included receptionist, attendance clerk, instructional assistant, and –most recently—nursing assistant at Hernandez Intermediate School. She doesn’t intend to sit still in retirement, but rather to “stay busy.” She says that she will miss most the students and all the folks that she has worked with for many years. The District will miss her vivacious personality and great sense of humor.

The Special Education staff at the Lamar Annex will miss retiree Lois Hahn, who has been an educator for nine years and been with SMCISD Special Ed team since March 2007. She brought 40 years of experience with her as an Occupational Therapist, 25 of those with school districts across Texas. Hahn plans to become a “world known painter” in her retirement. As her husband is the pastor of a church in Lockhart, she also wants to become more involved with the church.

Julie Hoffman taught in San Marcos CISD for 20 years, all at Travis Elementary with the 3rd grade and kindergarten. In her retirement, she looks forward to traveling with her spouse and “walking the beach” with her six grandchildren. She’s been an educator for a total of 22 years, and brought enrichment and excitement to her classrooms. In 2007, she was chosen as the SMCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. She is known for her kindness, knowledge, and professionalism.

Patty Maul began her career with SMCISD in Fall 1998 as a full time bus driver where she continued for six years. Always a favorite with the kids, Maul took great care with her riders and was known among her peers as a “hands on” person who took special interest in the students. For the last year of her seven years with the District, Maul has worked with the Child Nutrition Department as a Cafeteria Specialist at the San Marcos High School, where she enjoyed visiting with the students as they passed through the food line. She retired in February 2008, and is already missed.

Louis Maloney was a mid-year retiree after 21 years in education, all at San Marcos CISD. He spent most of her career at Goodnight Junior High where he taught Language Arts, Theatre Arts, and in more recent years, 7th and 8th grade Math. Principal Steve Dow recalls when he called the Human Resources Department to seen if Maloney was certified and highly qualified to teach man, and he was told, “Mr. Maloney could probably teach anything we offer.” He is remembered as a valuable part of the Goodnight teaching team.

Deborah Ruff of Hernandez Intermediate School retires after 25 years in education. Twenty of those years were with SMCISD. Most recently, she was a 5th grade teacher who was known for having a kind heart with students and always being “warm, witty, and wise.” Retirement means she will have more time to “read, paint, play with family and friends, clean closets, and who knows what adventures await.” Ruff says what she will miss most will be “working with the best people in Texas and possibly the universe, the daily challenges, smiles, hugs, the ‘light bulbs going off’ when kids get it, and trying to make a difference.”

The library at Miller Junior High will not be the same without retiree librarian Peggy Sabin. She has 26 years as an educator to her credit. Twenty-two years have been as a District Librarian: nine years at Goodnight Junior High and 13 years at Miller Junior High. She says, “The Miller library is really my baby since I put every book on the shelves. It is hard leaving it behind.” Sabin will be helping her parents move to Texas from Arizona in the near future and helping out with three of her grandchildren who live in San Marcos. Eventually, she hopes to find a part-time job working with kids and books again. She says she will miss the other District librarians “who are the best group of ladies anyone could work with.” She hopes to come back on occasion to help with book fairs, special projects, and to help open libraries in new schools. Sabin will miss the Miller family, especially the students who are known to have made her laugh and cry in the same day. “I am a better human being because of them,” she says.

Tylene Tacker is a veteran educator of 34 years, and has been at Crockett Elementary School for 12 years. Her peers say that Tacker always has a smile on her face and really loves teaching. “Even when she redirects a child, her voice is kind and reassuring, and everyone at our school is going to miss her smile and presence on campus,” said the Crockett staff. Tacker adds, “I wish to thank SMCISD for the opportunity to teach at Crockett for the last 12 years.”

Hilario Zavala, with 29 years in education, began his career with the SMCISD in April 1980 as a cafeteria custodian at the San Marcos High School. After 15 years, he was reassigned to the Liberal Arts Building at the former SMHS, where he spent another 13 years cleaning the top floor. Over the years, he saw a lot of changes at the high school, not the least of which was the opening of the new facility on McCarty Lane. The Maintenance Department and San Marcos High School will remember Zavala as a very loyal and dependable employee who made many friends during his tenure with the District.

San Marcos CISD wishes all these retirees a long and healthy retirement and extends deepest gratitude for the services that they have rendered to the children of the San Marcos community.

— IRIS CAMPBELL

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