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Retirees honored for their dedication by the PUSD school board June 20 include, from left, Debra Black, Darlene Crews, Laurine Prinvale, Carol Miles, Cheryl Henry, Shirley Laird and Ron Logan. Teacher Jim Norman was unavailable for the meeting. Photo by Roni Java

School district honors longtime employees heading into retirement

The Plumas Unified School District’s Governing Board of Trustees and County Office of Education honored eight longtime employees who are retiring with distinction.

Laughter, stories and a few barely suppressed tears were the order of the day when the retirement awards were made at the June 20 school board meeting in Quincy.

Introduced by their respective school principals, and with service spanning from seven to 35 years, the retirees were recognized for their dedication to Plumas County students, families and colleagues.

C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School Principal Melissa Leal complimented staffer Debra Black for her outstanding work and teased crossing guard Laurine Prinvale.

“Debbie, you’ve been amazing,” Leal said, adding, “Laurine, we’re gonna miss your bright orange jacket.”

PUSD Transportation Supervisor Kyle Bakker praised bus drivers Darlene Crews and Shirley Laird for “knowing every kid at every stop.”

Portola Junior-Senior High School Principal Sara Sheridan added, “Shirley, there is no one who can put the fear into a rowdy student like a good noon-duty supervisor and you’ve been the best. Thank you for loving every one of our rowdy students.”

Chester Junior-Senior High School Principal Terry Hernandez smiled and said of Cheryl Henry, “She runs the school, we all know that. She gets my corny jokes and all my Seinfeld references. We’re losing a good friend.”

Greenville Junior-Senior High School Principal Traci Cockerill had one of the best punch lines of the evening when she stepped up to recognize retiring band teacher Jim Norman who was unable to attend the school board meeting and had been previously honored by the Indian Valley community.

“Well, since Jim’s not here, we’re just taking his retirement back!” Cockerill smiled and laughter filled the room.

Laura Blesse, Director of SELPA/Pupil Services for the county office of education, warned the audience she would have a hard time holding back tears as she congratulated Carol Miles on 35 years as PUSD’s speech and language pathologist.

“She has helped students articulate language and even navigate the sometimes-bizarre world of social interactions,” Blesse said with a smile.

Quincy Elementary School Principal Lara Hollister added her appreciation for Miles’ work when she said, “Carol has spent many hours on the floor with our little ones doing their speech therapy. Speech class has been one our favorite times of the day.”

Quincy Junior-Senior High School Principal Erin Mongiello recognized science teacher Ron Logan.

“Ron has worked at many of our schools, from Chester to Quincy,” Mongiello said. “He’s wise and level-headed. He has also been of great service as president of the teachers’ union. Ron, we will all miss you.”

School Board Trustee and President Leslie Edlund spoke on behalf of the board.

“These dedicated years of service that you’ve all given to Plumas County schools, it’s all amazing,” she said. “We appreciate the time and energy that you’ve put into working with our students and the importance of your roles in the lives of our kids. I know for my own family, and everyone else’s, our kids have come out well educated and I feel blessed. Thank you for your service and your commitment to education.”

3 thoughts on “School district honors longtime employees heading into retirement

  • Also unable to attend and not honored by anyone: Susan Robinson, 20 years of service :-{ How quickly forgotten!!

    • I haven’t forgotten you, Susie! Congrats and much love sent your way.

      • Thanks Janet, you are the only one, except the kids and teachers who valued me and still miss me. It is just nice to be recognized. I have such fond memories of our teacher training 20+ years ago. Thanks for responding and best wishes to you!

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