Carol Hanschu has spent her entire teaching career at Centre Elementary School. She is retiring after 40 years.
She has experienced many changes throughout her time working in the district.
“I have taught in three different buildings and moved to a different room over 15 times,” the 63-year-old said. “With all the changes in education, I have had to learn to adjust.”
She described her first few years teaching third and fourth grade at Pilsen as a “heavenly” experience.
“There was a first-and-second-grade teacher, me, and two special ed teachers,” she said. “The administrator stopped by once or twice a week, we had music three times a week, no PE, a very relaxed schedule, and great community support.”
In addition to that, she said, she had the support of the late Msgr. Arthur Tonne. The Catholic priest lived across the street and frequently visited the school.
“He told the kids, ‘Don’t disagree with the teacher,’” she said. “He backed me up.”
After 26 years in a regular classroom, Hanschu has spent the past 14 years as the elementary school teacher of “at-risk” students. Reading has become her focus. She said the other teachers saw reading as the area where she could make the most difference in helping children progress. She attended workshops to improve her skills and maintain her certification.
Hanschu is a graduate of Tabor College. She and her husband, Lyle, have three married sons and two grandchildren. They live on a dairy farm northeast of Lost Springs.
Her next two weeks are booked solid. She looks forward to spending more time with family, doing gardening, reading, working on genealogy, and scrapbooking.
“I’ll miss the kids and the successes I’ve had, especially with kindergarten and first-grade students,” she said.