Retiring teachers will miss kids, but ready to relax
As hundreds of local high school seniors celebrate their recent graduation, several area teachers from Detroit Lakes and Frazee are also bidding farewell to their classrooms and moving on to a new chapter as they retire this year.
Vicky Trosvig has served the district for 35 years at Rossman, Washington, Callaway, and Roosevelt schools over the course of her career.
She has been a first and second grade teacher, taught with grades K-6 in reading and math, and most recently has worked with the Title I program at Roosevelt.
“Title I is a federal program for kids that are behind in a certain area and just need that little thing to catch up,” she said.
Trosvig’s aptitude for working with kids appeared early in her life.
“I have five sisters and brothers and my mom always said I have the patience of Job with them,” she said as she laughed. “So I went into teaching. It just seemed like a natural step.”
Trosvig has carried her enjoyment of working with her students through the years. “I’ll miss the kids,” she said, though she is looking forward to relaxation in her retirement, and plans to spend some time working in her garden.
Vicki Johnson taught physical education in Detroit Lakes for 39 years. Her sports experience was extremely versatile, as Johnson coached gymnastics, track, volleyball, golf, and cheerleading over the course of her career. She also served as an advisor for HOSA (future health professionals) for local high school students.
Physical education felt like a natural path for Johnson, as she said, “four of us were phys-ed teachers in our family.”
Over the course of four decades of teaching, she said “the kids have not changed through the years at all, as far as the enjoyment you get from working with them.”
She’ll miss spending time with her students, but she said of her retirement, “I’m open to new adventures.”
Lynn Schram has taught for 36 years, and served as a second grade teacher at Roosevelt.
Pursuing a career as a teacher felt like a natural fit. “I come from a family of teachers, it runs in the family,” Schram said. “I enjoy being around kids.”
Schram also applied her love of music to the classroom and shared it with her students.
She said, “I’ll miss the children with their energy and enthusiasm,” in addition to her fellow staff members and the families she worked with each year.
Through the course of her career, Schram has been pleased with the increase in programs developed by the schools to provide support to struggling students.
In her retirement, Schram plans to travel and spend time with her grandchildren and with family in their cabin.
Other teachers from Detroit Lakes schools that have retired this year are: Rita Hoff, speech therapy at Rossman; Chuck Heath, special education at Detroit Lakes Middle School; and Mark Hassenstab, English and language arts at Detroit Lakes High School. They couldn’t be reached for this story.
Frazee-Vergas Mary Olson has primarily taught the eighth and 12th grades during her teaching career in Frazee, and has spent several years with ninth grade students as well.
“I started there the fall of 1979 as a long-term sub” she said. “I’ve just been there ever since.”
Over the course of her time as a teacher in Frazee, Olson has experienced many changes in education, especially with the introduction of technology.
“Now computers and online classes are starting to get more prevalent,” she said, “but teaching always gets back to the basics. In my experience getting along with kids and being excited about teaching is what makes it work.”
“It’s been very rewarding to be with kids all day — usually,” Olson laughed as she re-membered noisy hall-ways and slamming lockers.
Olson intends to spend time with her grandchildren and to volunteer with Hospice in her retirement.
“Right now I don’t have a lot of definite plans, it’s sort of nice to be unscheduled,” she said of her retirement. “I think I’ll just let things unfold and see what happens.”
Mary Stein-Husband has served as a speech language pathologist and has worked with early childhood special education at Frazee Elementary School since 1995.
“I liked the therapy aspect of it” Stein-Husband said of what initially drew her into the field. She described her role as “figuring out what is causing a communicative disorder and devising plans on how to work with that.”
As a speech pathologist, Stein-Husband is trained to work with individuals of all ages, and has devoted time in the summers to working with head injury and stroke patients.
“I’ll miss being part of a team,” she said of the collaborative problem-solving process she shared with her coworkers.
“I’m looking forward to having more time to pursue the things I’ve always loved to do,” she said of her reading, gardening, and plans to explore in travels with her husband.
Stein-Husband also plans to volunteer — extending a career of care and service for others into her retirement.
Dave Trautman served as a teacher and coach with Frazee High School for 19 years and transitioned to the role of athletic director for the past 13.
He has potential plans to continue in his position as head softball coach in his retirement.
Jeff Skogmo, fourth grade at Frazee Elementary School, also retired this year, but could not be reached for this story.
Article written by Libby Larson of Detroit Lakes Newspapers