Trio of retiring teachers reflect on careers

The Greene County School District bid farewell to seven teachers who retired at the end of this school year. Concluding their service to the district were Tom Braun, Donna Carhill, David Destival, Annette Meier, Susan Turner, Elizabeth Vander Wilt and Diane Wallace.

The Scranton Journal contacted them via email on their last day of work last week. Three responded to our request for information.
~by Taylor Bates for The Scranton Journal

Donna Carhill

Donna Carhill has decided that after 38-1/2 years of teaching, it is her time to retire. Greene County’s family and consumer science teacher has been part of the district for 20 years.

The students and staff are what Carhill will miss the most. She said, “I enjoyed working with high school students and athletes.” She said that she really enjoyed the hands-on nature of what she taught and loved to see the students and athletes acquire and refine skills.

Carhill says that teaching has given her the chance to impact others in (what she hopes has been) a positive way. She found teaching to be creative, inspiring, and at times, frustrating. She says that she wouldn’t have traded her career for anything. Now, Carhill has no particular plans as to what she’s going to be doing post retirement.

Susan Turner

Susan Turner – After  32 years of teaching music, Susan Turner has decided that it’s time to retire. Turner began her career working with the Scranton Consolidated School District for a year before being offered a contract with the Jefferson-Scranton School District. She then saw the move to the Greene County School District prior to retirement.

Turner had a lot of favorite moments, especially when her students understood the concepts that she was teaching them. She loved seeing the smiles on their faces when things made sense and they started to have fun. Turner also loved her programs and watching how much fun the students were having.

“I work with some wonderful people who are really, really dedicated to these kids and want the best for them. And these kids are some of the best kids I’ve ever known,” Turner said. The students and staff are what she will miss the most about her job.

After spending much of her life in school, Turner says that she has learned a lot and she hopes that others have learned some things from her as well. She hopes to keep in touch through Facebook and any other means of communicating with friends that she has made along the way. She said, “I hope that I have left a good impression and will be remembered fondly.”

The next step for Turner is going into a crafting business with one of her friends in Wayne, NE.

Beth Vander Wilt

Beth Vander Wilt – Retiring from the Greene County School District this year is Beth Vander Wilt. Vander Wilt was the high school Spanish teacher for the district. She spent 32 of her total 34 years teaching in the Greene County district. She has taught Spanish I, II, III, IV and exploratory Spanish.

Vander Wilt said, “I loved getting to know my students and sharing my passion for learning Spanish.” She also enjoyed keeping up with the ever changing teaching strategies and finding new activities for learning.

Another highlight of Vander Wilt’s career was when she was able to help students through difficult times, giving them pep talks to help them become more confident and gain the tools they needed to succeed. She’s taken students on trips to Spanish-speaking countries and loved getting to see their reactions. Vander Wilt has also taken students to Spanish Quiz Bowls, bringing back several first-place trophies. She has enjoyed working with her colleagues in her building, saying that they “have made a good team.”

For retired life, Vander Wilt is planning to work at the Thomas Jefferson Gardens as a tour guide this summer, as well as helping in the Chamber of Commerce office. After this summer, Vander Wilt isn’t sure what she’ll be doing yet, but she’s exploring what her options may be.

Vander Wilt says that she is definitely going to miss working with the young people. “Contrary to what some people think, our Greene County youth are smart and well-mannered for the most part,” she said. Deciding to retire was not an easy decision to make, and Vander Wilt hopes to continue to contribute to the community in the future.

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