“We wish you happiness and fulfillment in your next phase of life,” said Superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser. “I feel such gratitude for each and every one of you. I know the countless hours you have given and the deep impact you have made.”
Durango High School Principal Jon Hoerl fought back emotions as he described the retirees at his school. “You’re not going to find a better group of educators anywhere,” he said. “There’s 101 years experience in this room – just from DHS. This group has helped me grow, and I will always be grateful to them.”
Two staff members who retired couldn’t be present: Michelle Fletcher, with 23 years of service at Escalante Middle School; and Robert Logan, with 25 years of experience at Durango High School. Logan’s son read a written statement where his father compared aging to pickling: You either pickle sweet or you pickle sour. I want to pickle sweet.”
The dinner included several speakers, and some of the retirees got up to share memories and plans for their retirement.
The following quotes were taken from those who introduced the retirees and honored them with a speech: