26 educators served district for 621 yearsPublished 10:59pm Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Carey, who taught English and speech grades 9-12, began teaching during three years she lived in Germany.
She and her husband, Thomas, have four children: John, 17; Alexandra, 15; Nick, 12; and Elena, 8.
She substituted starting her junior year in college, then taught at the Baumholder, Germany, Army Education Center for American GIs while her husband was stationed there.
Carey did her student teaching at the high school, then started in the classroom in 1974-75.
Carey has horses she shows.
She also gardens, paints and travels.
He and his wife, Teri, who is also retiring, have a son, Josh, who is married to Amelia; a son, Justin, who is married to Sureyya; a daughter, Aislinn; and two granddaughters, Sema and Ayla.
Frantz, who taught English and drama, taught for 33 years.
He has also been active in the community as Dogwood Fine Arts Festival visiting author and music chairman, directing plays for Drama Club and at Beckwith Theatre and overseeing Humanities Club.
Teri, the unofficial Ambassador of Fun, taught most language classes grades 7-12, including advising the student newspaper and yearbook, and even one math class.
“You can teach a lot of classes in 33 years,” she said.
Mary Lou Grabemeyer
In addition to 17 years at the middle school, she spent seven years at DUHS and was also at Sister Lakes, where she was a lunch and playground aide.
She was a library aide at the other two buildings.
Mary Lou and her husband, Jon, have five grandchildren, with another on the way.
Their family includes: Tesa, a homemaker and animal shelter volunteer; Nick, who teaches biology at Kalamazoo Central; and Carrie, TNG communications director.
A 35-year educator, she taught Spanish for Marcellus and Southwestern Michigan College, English and reading at Marcellus High School, directed the SMC library and Niles Brandywine before becoming the Dowagiac media specialist.
March 1 she accepted appointment as Dowagiac District Library director.
Her children are Christopher Fox, who teaches technical education outside Columbia, Md., near Washington, and former Miss Dowagiac Sarah Fox Peterson, who is in pharmaceutical sales and moving with her husband, Brent, a Navy flier, from Florida to San Diego.
“I have ‘lived’ at DUHS longer than any other place on this earth,” says Paradise, who taught English grades 9-12 her entire career.
She has a sister, Julie Paradise, in Sante Fe, N.M., and a brother, John Paradise, in Grand Haven.
Reich, Wayne Township clerk for 16 years, spent all 35 years of his career in Dowagiac – 12 years instructing U.S. history and geography at the middle school and 23 years at the high school in U.S. history, government, civics, economics and state and local government.
Cheri and her husband Bob are the parents of: Jenni Hughes, Chad Luce, Janiece Martin, Patricia Gowin and Robert Gowin.
Her education career spanned 28 years, including language arts grades 6-8 and special education.
Retired twice, she plans to settle in Ocala, Fla., to “play with grandkids, golf and relax in the sun.”
He and his wife, Sherry, who is also leaving after 19 years with Dowagiac, have a daughter, Erin, 28, and Rob Augustine, and a son, Evan Jordan, 25.
Ken has been a counselor at Lincoln, grades K-4; at Patrick Hamilton, grades 5-6; and DMS, grades 6-8.
Ken, a cross country and track coach, was also a classroom teacher at Justus Gage (third grade for one year and fourth grade for one year).
Sherry’s education career encompasses 32 years.
She taught sixth grade, social studies and language arts, and seventh and eighth grade computers.
“She is actually the first person in our school district to have a master’s degree in technology,” Superintendent Peg Stowers said.
John M. Pasternak
His wife Toni is the guidance office secretary at the high school.
Pasternak has three sons: Michael, 28; Ethan, 18; and Joey, 16.
He started teaching in Covert in 1970, then served two years in the Army in 1971-1972, including a year in Vietnam.
Pasternak taught middle school 11 years and was middle school assistant principal for 25 years.
Petersen’s 41-year career included Eau Claire band and choir director.
He has been with Dowagiac part-time for 12 years teaching sixth grade music. He also taught science for a year.
He and his wife, Phyllis, have two sons, Joe and Jeff.
Mike also teaches band at three Catholic schools in South Bend and Mishawaka, Ind., plays tuba in Southwestern Michigan College’s Brass Band and sings tenor in SMC’s Community Choir.
Thomas, who used to play against Dowagiac as a Cassopolis Ranger, spent 25 of his 34 years in education here.
He taught social studies grades 7-12 and coached.
He didn’t mention it, but he was head football coach when the Chieftains won the Class BB state title in 1990.
Cloud was hired as a third grade teacher in 1979-1980. The following year she taught fifth and sixth grade art, then spent two years as a sixth grade teacher. The next 10 years she was a first grade teacher at Kincheloe.
She has been an art instructor for the last 16 years. Her career spans 33 years.
Ginger’s two sons are Jason and Jeremy. Jason and his daughter Hannah and Jeremy and daughter-in-law Taylor live in North Carolina.
A veteran of more than 30 years, she spent 15 years in the classroom, including eight seasons in migrant education and taught pre-kindergarten to sixth grade.
Joan worked as a “teacher educator” in the Peace Corps in the Philippines for two years.
She and her husband, John, have two children, Katie, 27; and Ben, 24.
She was unable to attend.
“I’m looking forward to logging more hours as a grandma,” Lynn says. “I also hope to travel, including visits to see my son Jon, who starts medical school at Baylor in Houston, Texas, this summer.
Her family with Charles “Chuck” Konopinski includes: a daughter, Kristen DeDario and son-in-law Vince DeDario; two sons, Nathan and Jonathan; a stepson, Charles; and three grandchildren, Dylan, 3; and 7-month-old twins, Ella and Lily.
Konopinski spent all 37 years of her career with Dowagiac teaching second and third grades.
Her career spans 32 years – all teaching 4- to 5-year-old children (most recently with Inside Track at Justus Gage and prior to that at Lincoln).
Michealsen says she is looking forward to traveling, becoming more computer literate and having time to be a good grandma.
Her family includes a daughter, Jennifer; son-in-law, Darryl; a 4-year-old grandson, Jonah; and an 8-month-old granddaughter, Linnea Kate.
All but one year of her career was spent at Sister Lakes Elementary School.
She was hired by former assistant superintendent Si Miller and Jackie Burden for the second-third combination at the former Lincoln Elementary.
Karsten figured out she worked with six superintendents – Lionel Stacey, Jim Lindsey, Dr. Roger Dixon, Ron Jones, Larry Crandall and Peg Stowers – and six principals – Jackie Burden, Peggy Diss, Tom Lenhard, Dave Strlekar, Marcy Hendress (now at Justus Gage) and Matt Severin (headed to DMS) during her Dowagiac career teaching second, third and fourth grades.
Kathy’s daugher Kelly just graduated from Grand Valley State University, but not in education.
Her husband Scott is in sales at Hannapel Home Center.
Her family includes: three brothers, Dave, Steve and Scott Topping; one nephew, Forrest; and a niece, Mercedes, who all attended Dowagiac schools, and a grand niece, Reagan.
Debra taught Young 5s, kindergarten, first grade, split first and second grade, second grade, third grade and junior high music.
She taught summer school for several different years throughout her career and taught storytelling with fourth and fifth graders during lunch the past two years.
She has performed professionally as a clown.
Sue estimates her entire career at 35 years – “from Mother Goose days.” Bill Henke is her spouse.
She taught special education and coordinated learning/language impaired classrooms.
Summers she oversaw the Tiny Talkers program.
In addition to 34 years with Dowagiac, Pat also subbed in Lansing for six months.
She has four children: DeeDee, 25; Kaitlin, 15; Joseph, 10; and Kylie, 9.
Pat taught kindergarten 18 years, first grade for 14 years and second grade for two years.
She came to education from farming and worked as a speech pathologist.
“Life doesn’t get any better than working with children!” she says.
Her own family with John includes: a daughter, Christine and Larry Pratt; a daughter, Sheryl and Chris Kelly; a daughter, Stepanie and Jim Newhouse; and grandsons, Drew Kelly, Will Kelly and Domeneco Newhouse.
Her family include Sharese and Rebecca Franklin.
Teaching spanned 28 years of her life, including first grade and fourth grade, adult education and summer school.
Cheryl and Bill have five children, Brian, Mike, Kim, Jay and Joe.
During her 29-year career Southworth taught second grade and kindergarten.
She was unable to attend.
Wolf taught preschool, Young 5s, first, second, fourth, sixth and eighth grades, Spanish, soccer, art, substitute taught and was a home school teacher during a 33-year career.
She and her husband, Gerald’s, family includes Jayme Moore, Tyler, Ryan, Jerry, Makenzie, Hannah, Brady, Emily, Dylan, Jill and Victoria.
Larry and Carole have two daughters, Lisa and Jennifer.
His 42 years as an educator included business education in 1969-1970 and driver’s ed in Marcellus except for a few summers during the 1990s.
“He put together the finest alternative education program in southwest Michigan,” Stowers said. “He gave kids an opportunity at a second chance in life. He believed in them and supported them.”