Retiring from SWPRSC this summer are Carol Panzer and Mike Ronen.
Retirements are always tough to handle for the retiree and co-workers left behind. Memories of fun and hard work are generally the talk at receptions held in honor of the retiree. For those retiring during the Covid-19 Quarantine, this celebration of accomplishments and friendships was made more difficult.
On May 27, SWPRSC came together (virtually) for their monthly leadership training and held a surprise retirement reception of sorts for two of its valuable employees. The retirees were surprised with a meal being delivered to their homes for lunch and while everyone ate together virtually, videos with messages from friends and co-workers played. Laughter over forgotten stories, tears over heart-felt thanks for the impact these two played in people's lives lasted throughout the remainder of the afternoon.
Mike Ronen started his career in education in 1981. In his first teaching job in Natoma he taught business and computer classes. He taught eight courses in a seven period day and filled his evenings coaching three sports for a “huge” salary of $12,900 in this first endeavor. He later went on to teach and coach at Liberal, he was the high school principal at Greensburg, CTE & Career Tech Director at Hutchinson Community College, assistant superintendent at El Dorado, finishing his career as Chief Financial Officer of SWPRSC. Ronen holds degrees in Accounting (AA), Business Education (BS) and Education Administration (MS). Ronen’s best advice to his co-workers is to “make the best decision you can with the best data you have available ... then drive on”.
Carol Panzer began her career in education in 1972. Panzer’s first teaching assignment was at Satanta High School teaching junior and senior English classes. She later taught at Lakin High School. During her teaching career she taught high school and middle school English and later ELA. She holds degrees from Kansas State University (BS) and Lesley University (MS) and is National Board Certified in Early Adolescence English Language Arts. Panzer tells this story of how she got into education: “My advisor finally said she would not sign for any more courses until I declared a major. It looked like my best choice would be English Education. But since I had taken several science and social studies courses, later I added those middle school endorsements by having 15 hours or more in those areas.” Panzer’s words of, “It is what it is!” will be fondly remembered.
Both Ronen and Panzer will be greatly missed as they start their next great adventures. Congratulations to both on a retirement well deserved.