Edison Intermediate/Middle School will have an unusual amount of turnover next year as six staff members, including three intervention specialists, are retiring at the end of this school year.

Edison Intermediate/Middle School will have an unusual amount of turnover next year as six staff members, including three intervention specialists, are retiring at the end of this school year.

Grandview ThisWeek asked the educators to reflect on their careers and their time in the district.

Doug Eckert,

guidance counselor.

Eckert has spent 32 of his 35-year career in education in Grandview. He became a guidance counselor after teaching at Stevenson Elementary and sixth-grade at the middle school.

"It's exciting," Eckert said of his impending retirement.

"I know at the beginning of the school year, it seemed like a long way off," he said. "When I got back from spring break, suddenly it was getting really close. I'm looking forward to doing something different, but I'm going to miss the students a lot."

Edison "has become like a second home to me" over the past three decades, Eckert said. "I'm excited about retiring, but it's going to be hard to leave."

Working as a guidance counselor "is very rewarding, but the tough thing is a lot of the kids you work with need help and guidance so they can be better students," he said. "Some of them you're able to help and that's a great feeling."

Eckert said he was inspired to pursue a career in education after working with disabled students at the YMCA as a freshman in college.

"I'm so glad I decided to go into education," he said. "I've been very lucky to get to work with kids and their parents."

He will particularly remember his experiences as a coach and being involved in the sixth-grade camp, Eckert said.

His immediate post-retirement plans are "probably to do some lawn care work on the side and see what comes next," he said.

Janet Gauntner, fifth-grade intervention specialist

Gauntner has spent all of her 21 years in Grandview at Edison as an intervention and reading specialist.

"I enjoy the kids so much," she said. "I enjoy the whole process of trying to identify what kids need and coming up with a plan to help them be successful in the classroom. I enjoy working with classroom teachers, too."

Gauntner was inspired to become an educator while in high school.

"I was inspired by a teacher I worked with," she said. "She was a reading specialist and having the chance to work with her, I knew this was what I wanted to do."

After starting out as a teacher in Vinton County, Gauntner said she realized her interest lay more in being a reading specialist.

Working closely with individual students has meant a lot to her, she said.

"The kids are what make it rewarding," Gauntner said. "Just to see them continue to develop and see the progress they make and helping them become better problem solvers, that makes it special."

Grandview parents are also special, she said.

"They have been wonderful to work with," Gauntner said. "And I've been fortunate to work with some of the most qualified educators at Edison. It's been a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn from my colleagues."

Her first year of retirement will be spent traveling, she said.

"I have a big family and I'll be traveling a lot to spend time with them and with my husband," Gauntner said.

Lindsay Graves,

sixth-grade intervention specialist.

Graves has spent 19 years of her 20-year career in Grandview at Edison.

Being an intervention specialist "can be so rewarding when you help a child get past a block to their learning," she said.

"I've been fortunate getting to work with sixth-graders, because I think that's the best age of all," Graves said.

In sixth grade, students still have the enthusiasm of elementary students while having gained some of the wisdom and worldliness of older youngsters, she said.

"Yet they haven't gained that skepticism" that seems to develop in seventh grade, Graves said.

Teaching in Grandview "has been a privilege," she said.

"The students come from such wonderful families," Graves said. "They are supported by their parents and they have respect for their teachers and other students. I'm fortunate to have been able to teach in Grandview."

The best part of teaching may be having the chance to meet new students each year "and really get to know them," she said. "Each child has an individual way of learning and that's fascinating to me."

Graves' last day isn't until July, "so I haven't really made any plans yet" for her retirement.

"I still have a way to go yet," she said

Steve Newton,

fifth-grade math teacher.

Newton has spent 32 of his 33 years as a teacher in Grandview.

Along with two stints at Edison, both when it was an elementary school and later as a middle school teacher, Newton also spent a decade teaching at Stevenson.

"I've had the opportunity to teach just about everything English, science, math and social studies," he said. "I guess teaching social studies is what I enjoy the most."

Like Gauntner, Newton was inspired to go into education by a teacher, his sixth-grade teacher, Marilyn Greene.

"I had started out at Catholic school and I just didn't like it," he said. "When I went to public school, it was a revolution for me. Suddenly, school was fun.

Greene "was the first teacher I really liked. She was so nice," Newton said. "From sixth grade on, all the way through high school I liked school. I had always wanted to coach and the way to do that was to become a teacher."

He was also inspired by his father, who worked as a home builder and taught him a lot of things he now uses as a math teacher, he said.

Each new school year brings rejuvenation for a teacher, Newton said.

"Each year is a new beginning and that helps keep it fun," he said.

Working in Grandview has also been fun, Newton said.

"Grandview is such a unique place, there's no place like it," he said. "When I first started here, I thought I might work a couple years in Grandview. I never expected to spend 32 years here.

"When I think about it, all my best friends are here," Newton said. "I'll still see them on occasion, but it's going to be hard to leave."

Along with teaching, Newton also has a love of motorcycles.

"I don't have any specific plans yet for my retirement, but I'm sure I'll end up working in something that's motorcycle-related," he said.

Holly Quigley,

fourth-grade intervention specialist

Quigley is completing her 21st and final year in Grandview. She started working as a high school tutor in the district before earning a master's degree in special education and becoming an intervention specialist.

"It's such rewarding work," she said. "I come up with strategies that help kids who learn differently be more successful. Every child is different and I really enjoy coming up with the strategy that can help each individual student" reach his or her potential.

"It's exciting to see them progress and become more independent," Quigley said.

In addition to the students, Grandview has amazing parents, she said.

"That's one of the pleasures, to get to work with such great parents," Quigley said.

In many respects, her work as an intervention specialist offers a more challenging but also stimulating experience than a regular classroom, she said.

"I'm always learning something. You're always looking for new things to try," Quigley said. "Working with kids who learn differently, it's fun, because of their excitement when they succeed."

Quigley said she plans to take a year off after she retires before deciding what she will do next.

Paula Sarrey,

occupational therapist

Sarrey has spent five years in Grandview, including stints at Stevenson and the high school as well as Edison.

During her 36-year career as an occupational therapist, Sarrey has also worked in the Upper Arlington school district and at the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.

In a school setting, occupational therapy often relates to helping students use their eyes and hands together, she said.

"The thing I get the most satisfaction out of is the conscientiousness of the children," Sarrey said. "It's such a good feeling to help them be better students.

"I'm probably not going to see the ultimate outcome, because what they learn in occupational therapy gives them skills they'll be using throughout their life," she said. "It's nice to know you've helped them."

She said she'll miss the "collaborative effort" of working with the classroom teachers at Edison.

"We're all working together" for students' benefit "and it's been great to be part of that effort."