Vicksburg schools honor 10 retiring employees

By Jef Rietsma

June 11 may have been the final day of class for students at Vicksburg Community Schools, but for several staff members, it marked a new beginning.

Ten district employees are retiring. Superintendent Keevin O’Neill said the employees collectively made Vicksburg Community Schools a better district because of their commitment to its students.

“I can’t thank this group of VCS employees enough for all the years of service, dedication and commitment to our precious students and families,” O’Neill said. “They will be missed and I hope they enjoy their well-deserved retirement.”

The retirees are:

Gary Boyle-Holmes, 37 years, all at Vicksburg High School.

Angie Getsinger, 30 years in all. Getsinger was hired as part-time physical education teacher at Sunset Lake after coaching volleyball and softball. Getsinger moved to Illinois and taught there through 2007. She moved back to Michigan and taught the balance of her career at Sunset Lake.

Ruth Hook, 23 years total. Hook started her career as a fifth-grade teacher in Illinois before spending 12 years at The Gagie School in Kalamazoo. She joined Vicksburg Community Schools as an instructional consultant starting in 2010 and was named principal at Indian Lake Elementary in 2012.

Tammy Iobe, 25 years, all at VCS. Iobe started as a substitute bus driver in the fall of 1996 and became a regular driver the next year.

Dave Nette, 27 years, all at Vicksburg High School.

Krista Ragotzy, 22 years in all. Ragotzy worked at Croyden School in Kalamazoo until securing teaching-certificate credentials. Ragotzy went on to work at Vicksburg High School her entire teaching career.

Patty Stoll, 22 1/2 years at Vicksburg Community Schools. She was hired in 1995 as a part-time middle school band teacher and resigned in 2002. Stoll was re-hired in fall 2005 in the same position until retirement. She spent six years before that teaching at Lawrence Public Schools and Marcellus Community Schools.

Jenny Taylor, 23 years, all at Vicksburg Community Schools. Taylor was hired as a kindergarten teacher at Sunset Lake, where she later taught third grade.

Toni Thole, 25 years. Thole was hired as a part-time health sciences teacher. Thole continued to teach health at both the middle school and high school until retirement.

Bob VanderStraaten, more than six years at Vicksburg Community Schools. VanderStraaten worked as a custodian for six months. He was rehired as a mechanic in 2015 and began driving a bus in 2018.

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