Northwest AEA retirees exemplify spirit of service

When nine Northwest AEA employees retire next month, over 200 years of service will exit the doors, too. The students, teachers and families of Northwest AEA have been blessed by the unwavering dedication and sound expertise of these individuals. 

I recently read a blog circulating on social media and thought of these individuals…and all of the employees who serve tirelessly at Northwest AEA. The blog references the desirable qualities needed to succeed in the education profession. Here is an excerpt of the Grace4Teachers blog titled, “1 Corinthians 13 for Teachers”:  

    If I am an entertaining and articulate teacher, but have not love, I am nothing. 

    If I have all wisdom in dealing with student and parent issues that arise, and have not love, I am nothing. 

    If I give my free time grading, creating exciting lesson plans, and designing stellar bulletin boards; and have not love, I am nothing.

    Love is patient. It does not get annoyed with the drumming pencil or the millionth time a student asks, ‘What page are we on?’

    Love is kind. It speaks to students with kindness, even in times of discipline. It looks for little ways throughout the day to show students care.”

Educators enter their respective field because they love teaching children and assisting others in finding their unleashed potential. As another year draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on the growth you have seen in your schools. Not every day was easy, or maybe even pleasant. But like our retirees, you persevered and worked through the tough times that will, ultimately, shape the next generation of men and women working and living in our communities. The work you do is invaluable.

We cannot thank our departing employees enough for their efforts over the years. We are stronger because of them, and we wish them happy and bright futures. Five of the retiring employees have worked for three decades or more for the AEA! What a testament to their work ethic and the services provided by Area Education Agencies. Those who had shorter stints at the AEA worked in the field of education or the public sector for dozens of years, which is equally amazing. We will miss the extra special touches and spirit of service from the following employees:

Sandy Fahrendholz
Communications Secretary
14 years

Mary Groen
Early Childhood Consultant
32 years

Craig Hoadley
Special Education Strategist
32 years

Sandi Lindberg
Special Education Strategist
37 years

Marcia Muecke
31 years

Millie Olsen
Educational Consultant
13 years

Janys Schroeder
Speech-Language Pathologist
13 years

Diane Schwartz
Special Education Strategist
5 years

Cyndi Swingen
Early Childhood Special Education Consultant/Teacher
30 years

As always, be sure to check out our blogs, which we hope will inform, inspire and guide your daily work:

For a complete listing of all blogs, please go to the Northwest AEA website. You can also sign up for an RSS feed to automatically receive blog updates (instructions provided on the Northwest AEA website).

Educationally yours,

Dr. Tim Grieves
Chief Administrator