School Board honors retiring Steamboat staffers |

School Board honors retiring Steamboat staffers

Zach Fridell

After 25 years in education, Steamboat Springs Middle School Spanish teacher Nanette Waneka has retired. She joins 11 other retiring Steamboat Springs School District employees who will have time for the "someday things."

— Nanette Waneka knows just what she’s going to do now that she’s retired.

After spending 25 years as a teacher – most recently as a Spanish teacher at Steamboat Springs Middle School – she’s ready to do all the “someday things” she had put off before, such as painting, writing and traveling.

And she bought an eye-catching red sports car with the license plate “Picante.”

Waneka, who has worked in the district for 16 years, was one of 11 staff and faculty members honored by the Steamboat Springs School Board during a luncheon Monday. With 211 total years of service to the Steamboat Springs School District among them, in addition to years they have spent teaching elsewhere, this year’s retirees represent a cross-section of the district’s faculty and staff.

They include an attendance secretary, an art teacher, a custodian, a drama and language arts teacher, a technology specialist and a host of elementary school teachers.

Cindy Walker has the retiree’s longest tenure in the district, with 32 years spent working for Steamboat Springs schools. During that time she taught English, Spanish, math and computer education before becoming a data technology specialist, her most recent role.

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Now that she has more time on her hands, Walker said, she plans to travel and enjoy time with her grandchildren. She has one grandchild already, with another on the way soon.

She said that although she probably will not buy a red sports car, she has her eye on another favorite way to spend her time.

“Travel will be the indulgence,” she said. She currently has a trip planned to Nova Scotia and Quebec, including a cruise with her extended family.

Don Schwartz, who is retiring after 27 years teaching elementary students – including 22 in Steamboat – said he wants to spend time with his hobbies, including travel, photography and writing.

“Who knows? Maybe there’s a children’s book in me,” he said.

Schwartz said he plans to spend at least one more year in Steamboat but that he may eventually find a new home to “shorten the winters.”

Judy Ross, who has worked in Steamboat for 28 years, said she is not sure what will happen, but she is looking for new possibilities.

“We’re going to let it evolve,” she said.

Retiring SSSD staffers

– Frank Mayer, sixth grade, math/science, Steamboat Springs Middle School, six years

– Rusty DeLucia, drama/language arts, SSMS, seven years

– Jude Black, art, Strawberry Park Elementary, 10 years

– Bob Brook, custodian, Steamboat Springs High School, 10 years

– Sue Barnes, third grade, Soda Creek Elementary, 15 years

– Nanette Waneka, Spanish, SSMS, 16 years

– Becky Goodrich, attendance secretary, SSHS, 19 years

– Georgia Reust, kindergarten at SCE and SPE, 22 years

– Don Schwartz, second grade, SPE, 22 years

– Mike Johnson, fifth grade, SPE, 24 years

– Judy Ross, fourth grade, SPE, 28 years

– Cindy Walker, district data/technology specialist, 32 years

Years listed are for Steamboat Springs School District only, many teachers worked elsewhere before moving to Steamboat