Brenda Thaden and Teresa Thompson are each enjoying retirement this summer after extended, fruitful careers as educators.
Thaden retired at the close of the school year after 21 years at Nodaway Valley, most recently teaching fourth grade.
Thompson spent just over 30 years in education, all at Orient-Macksburg, save for one semester that she taught at St. Malachy School in Creston.
She spent 12 years in the classroom at elementary and middle school grade levels before spending her last 15 years as a principal.
In 2019, Thaden told the newspaper for a feature story on her that education is something you need to be ready to put your entire “heart and soul” into. Now she says that looking back on her career she’s thankful, but she’s also excited to put her focus in other areas. Her first grandchild is on the way.
“I’m ready to be focusing more on family right now,” Thaden said. “I’m sure I’ll miss it more in the fall when I should be going back to school and I’m not, but right now I’m enjoying [retirement] quite a bit, spending time with family and things I like to do.”
Thompson was also featured in 2019 in this newspaper. In that interview, Thompson talked about growing up at Orient-Macksburg, how having deep-rooted relationships means something to her, and it helps when situations arise that need tackled.
Thompson was in her office this Tuesday cleaning it out and reflecting on her career, talking with the newspaper over the phone.
“I think you always reflect on those types of things and that it’s been a really good career and a great experience. I think I’ve done some things right, and there’s some things I haven’t done right,” Thompson said. “Overall, I want to feel like the decisions I made were in the best interest of this school district and its students. Hopefully I made more good decisions than I did bad.”
Thompson said that in retirement she plans to start a pumpkin farm with one of her children. They hope to be open for four to five weeks this fall at their rural Macksburg home in Madison County.
Pam Kirkland retired from Nodaway Valley as a paraeducator also, but chose not to be interviewed for this story.