Hettinger School celebrates two retirements
At Hettinger Public School, the last days of school year are approaching fast. For Title 1 teacher Ardrath Burrer and Librarian LaNae Kristy, it isn’t just the end of a long school year, but the conclusion of two amazing careers.
Just last week Hettinger Public School threw both Burrer and Kristy a retirement party. Burrer’s 17 years of teaching and Kristy’s 18 years at the school were celebrated with tiaras, cakes, and balloons.
Superintendent Ryan Moser said that both Burrer and Kristy have made big impacts on Hettinger Public School.
“[Kristy] is irreplaceable here,” said Moser, “The things that she does for our student; she is involved in almost every aspect.”
Moser also highlighted Burrer’s ability to connect with the students.
“Kids love her. You don’t run into a kid that, when you talk about Ms. Burrer, that doesn’t have a smile.”
Kristy said that her work in libraries started after she graduated college. First she worked as a librarian and education specialist at The Wyoming Children’s Home.
“I decided I liked libraries so I went to get my master’s degree,” she said, “I worked mostly at bigger libraries like the Phoenix Library until my husband and I moved here.”
Although the Hettinger library is long leap from the Phoenix Library, Kristy said it was the ability to work with kids one-on-one that made the job exciting.
“The kids are just great. We always have a good time,” said Kristy, “I get to work with every kid. I don’t have a class, but I have every student and I get to see them all regularly and I really like that.”
On top of being a librarian, Kristy was a chairman for the Education Improvement Committee for nine years. During her time on the committee, Kristy was able to promote reading and writing at Hettinger Public School.
“I enjoyed being on the Education Improvement Committee. We did some really good things. We started a writing program here so that every student here in Hettinger writes one research paper every year from 3rd through 12th grade,” said Kristy. “We also have 15 minutes of silent reading everyday for every grade. Those are the things I’m really proud of.”
Kristy said that she plans to stay in Hettinger and work more at the Adams County Library after she retires.
“I’ll still work at the county library. My husband, Mark, and I will stay in Hettinger. I’m an avid gardener and I like to exercise a lot, so we’ll just enjoy it,” said Kristy.
Along with Kristy, Title 1 teacher Burrer has become an integral part of Hettinger Public School’s culture and community.
Burrer taught ten years of music at Hettinger Public School and seven years of interacting one-on-one for Title 1. Burrer said that her teaching career started in South Dakota.
“I started as a teacher’s assistant in South Dakota. My supervising teachers encouraged me to go back to school, so I did. I taught in one-room country schools for 9 years before I taught here,” said Burrer.
Much like Kristy, Burrer’s favorite part of the job is working with the kids. She said that being flexible and “going with the flow” were big parts of her job.
When asked what she was looking forward to with retirement, Burrer replied, “Cleaning my house. I have no big plans. Not yet.”
For Burrer and Kristy, the end of this school year is the beginning of a well-deserved adventure.