School board says thanks and goodbye to elite class of retiring educators |

School board says thanks and goodbye to elite class of retiring educators

Tammy Farrell
Scott Franz

2016 retirees

Sandy Conlon - 46 years

Susan Ogden - 30.5 years

Tammy Farrell - 26 years

Tracy Bye - 26 years

Cindy Gay - 18 years

Steve Moos - 16 years

Joy Clark - 15 years

Val Gary - 11 years

2016 Educators of the year

Libby Creamer, Soda Creek Elementary

Allie Sabat, Strawberry Park Elementary

Tracy Bye, Steamboat Springs Middle School

Becca Utu, Steamboat Springs High School

— The Steamboat Springs School District applauded and said goodbye Monday night to an elite class of retiring educators, who together touched the lives of many students and represented more than a century-and-a-half of combined teaching experience in the district.

“You have made your mark on this district … and inspired many students,” Superintendent Brad Meeks said as he kicked off a jovial ceremony at Steamboat Springs HIgh School.

There were audible “wows” from many members of the large audience when School Board President Margaret Huron counted up the retirees’ combined years of service.

The School Board also honored the educators of the year.

The retiring educators who were honored ranged from Tammy Farrell, the longtime face of Soda Creek Elementary School, to Sandy Conlon, a veteran Steamboat Springs High School world history and literature teacher who taught here for 46 years.

Soda Creek Principal Michele Miller read aloud a handwritten letter one of the first-grade students had made to send off Farrell.

The student praised Farrell as a great “principal” at the school, a note that showcased how Farrell was a much bigger presence to the students than just office manager.

Farrell had such a presence at the school, students she bumped into at the supermarket often thought she lived at the school.

Retiring science teacher Cindy Gay is saying goodbye after 18 years in the district.

She has long touted the perks of her job.

In 2003, after she was named Colorado’s 2003 Outstanding Biology Teacher by the Colorado Biology Teachers Association, she said she didn’t really consider her job a “job.”

“I have the perfect job,” she said. “Most of the time, it doesn’t even seem like a job. I can’t even call it a job.”

Middle school teacher Tracy Bye, who is retiring from the district after 26 years of service, got an additional honor on Monday during her send off.

She was named the district’s educator of the year.

Middle School Principal Jerry Buelter praised Bye for the positive connections she made with her students and noted they often keep in touch with her via social media and email even after they finish her class.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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