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Retiring West Fargo district staffers bid farewell

Not only was it graduation this last week for departing seniors in the West Fargo School District, it was also a time for farewells to members of the teaching and classified staff making good on their retirement announcements.

Fourteen teachers and ten members of the classified staff stepped down after amassing a phenomenal number of years of experience during their tenure - 364 for the teaching team and 178 for the classified group.

On the teacher side, topping the "longest years" list were West Fargo High School principal Gary Clark with 40 years and Eastwood Elementary first grade instructor Carol Krogh with 36 years.

Clark was hired in September of 1971, teaching social studies and serving as assistant principal prior to being named high school principal.

Krogh holds the distinction of growing up in the community and graduating from West Fargo High School, before returning to assume teaching duties in September of 1975.

Other retiring teachers, their current teaching positions, and their years of commitment to the district include:

*Gerri Dyrdahl, second grade teacher at Westside Elementary, 33 years, hired August of 1982. Drydahl also had a previous teaching stint in the 70s.

*Dwight Corbeil, CTE at Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center, 32 years, hired September 1979. In addition to CTE, he also taught drivers ed, business, and was involved in coaching.

*Phyllis Stanley, special education instructor at L.E. Berger Elementary, 30 years, hired in August 1981. During her tenure, in addition to Berger, also devoted time to Westside, Eastwood, Horace, Harwood and South schools.

*Greg Willis, physical education instructor at Cheney Middle School, 30 years, hired in August of 1981.

*Cheryl Ulrickson, reading at L.E. Berger, 28 years, hired in August of 1983. She began her career in Harwood, then Horace, and has been at Berger since 2002.

*Rose Hovland, reading at L.E. Berger Elementary, 26 years, hired August of 1984. Also taught in West Fargo 1975-77, returning in 1984.

*Jean Melicher, grade one at Harwood Elementary, 24 years, hired September of 1987. Taught grade two at Westside until the fall of 1990 when she moved to Harwood. Melicher was honored as teacher of the year in 2009-2010.

* Mary Sherman, Language Arts at West Fargo High, 22 years, started in August of 1989 at the West Fargo Middle School, moving to the high school in 1992.

*Linda Dahl, FACS at the High School, 20 years, hired in August of 1991. During her time taught independent living, clothing and textiles, nutrition and foods and family living.

*Dawn Gilbraith, counselor at Aurora Elementary, 20 years, hired August of 1991. In addition to serving as an elementary counselor, she was also a counselor at the Middle School and a first grade teacher.

* Donna Schneider, special education at West Fargo High School, 13 years, hired August of 1998.

*Patricia Johnson, counselor at Harwood and Horace Elementary Schools, ten years, hired August of 2001.

On the classified side of the retirements, Roger Turchin, serving in maintenance at the Leidal Education Center, holds the largest number of years at 28, followed by Irene Enzminger, a bus paraprofessional at the bus barn, with a total of 27 years.

Turchin started in his position in August of 1983, and Enzminger in December of 1984.

Other retiring members of the classified staff, their current positions and their years of service include:

*Lloyd Amundson, mechanic at the bus barn, 25 years, starting in April of 1986.

*Janice Turchin, custodian at Horace, 21 years, starting March of 1990.

* Arlue Ostrem, food service at L.E. Berger Elementary, 17 years, August of 1994.

*Rolene Wacha, food service at Aurora Elementary, 16 years, starting March 1995.

* Jana Nichelson, paraprofessional in special education at Westside Elementary, 15 years, started August 1996.

*Clayton Brennen, bus driver at the bus barn, 14 years, started in August of 1997.

*Eugene Wanner, bus driver at the bus barn, eight years, starting November 2003.

*David Richard, bus driver at the bus barn, seven years, starting April 2004.