Longest-employed Eureka teacher announces her retirement

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 ~ Updated 1:45 PM
Kathy Remenar

EUREKA SPRINGS -- It's a big deal when the longest-employed staff member or teacher in a school district announces retirement -- and high school English teacher Kathy Remenar fits both those categories.

Remenar handed in her resignation letter at Thursday's school board meeting, effective the end of the school year.

Remenar began her teaching career in 1968. In 1974, she was elected to the Eureka Springs School Board for three years, and then began teaching there in 1977.

School board member Gayla Wolfinbarger had Remenar as a teacher, and board member Al Larson joked, "You taught both my children, and they speak English like natives!"

Remenar, who heads the certified staff Personnel Policy Committee, was actually the person who pushed for the original policy to be developed.

"In 1964, I graduated from high school and so it only seems fitting that I should 'graduate' again, 50 years later," she wrote in her resignation letter. "The class of 2014 and I plan to grow up and enter the 'real world' at the end of this school year. This is very exciting for them and for me."

She called it "a privilege and an honor" to have taught the children of Eureka and thanked everyone who made her 40 years fulfilling and fun. Remenar said she is planning to travel a lot but also may take a part time job, not in a school district, but maybe in a retail shop. She said will "reinvent" herself.

"I look forward to this new chapter in my life, but a piece of my heart will stay right here where it belongs, with the Highlanders."

The board once again grappled with having to make up more snow days due to a storm earlier this month. Students have missed a total of 17 days. The board had already approved adding three Saturdays and the Martin Luther King holiday to make up days. Upon recommendations by both the personnel and classified staff policy committees, the board voted to take the last three days of Spring break, March 26-28, as makeup days. Remenar said the recommendation was so that students would be in school closer to testing days.

The district will apply to the state for a waiver of seven missed days.

In other business, the board:

* Approved the update of the annual Facilities Master Plan, which details infrastructure and maintenance of the physical facilities.

* Approved a trip to Shreveport, La., of six chemistry and physics students in Katy Turnbaugh's classes to present at the Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium. It is the only high school presenting at the conference.

* Approved the transfer of a student to the Berryville School District.

* Approved extending Kellogg's contract for one year.

* Heard 21st Century Program Director Gary Andrews update that he is working on another $500,000 five-year grant to keep the program going. The after-school program for K-8 students will focus more heavily on academics and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) in the next cycle if the grant is approved, he said.

* Returned from executive session to approve the hire of Danielle Purvis and pre-kindergarten and Adam Louderback as EAST Lab teachers, contingent upon successful completion of teacher certification.

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