23 retire from Sauk Prairie School District

Ellen Paul

Retirees from the Sauk Prairie School District this year number 23 staff members. They are, in alphabetical order: Ken Boettcher, Shawn Anderson, Janet Barrett, Jane Busler, Joan Campbell, Shanalee Carden, Michael Carpenter, Karen Cody, Jean Giese, Mary Hehenberger, Mary Holler, Jean Lipke, Robin Miller, Therese Miskulin-Brethorst, Estela Ohlrogge, Karen Peetz, Pamela Schramer, Scott Schutt, Thomas Steward, Diane Sullivan, Connie Swantz, Anita Thayer, and Cliff Thompson.



Janet Barrett


 Janet Barrett, a Special Education teacher who taught K-2 Special Education at Spruce Street Elementary from 1988-1993 and K-5 at Merrimac Elementary from 1993-2005, completed her service at Sauk Prairie High School from 2005-2020.

“I have great memories of the students I worked with. They have taught me so much and helped me appreciate what I have. When I transferred to the high school after teaching at the elementary level, it was wonderful to work and interact with some of the same students I worked with previously. It was good to see how they developed and grew over the years.” 

“I will also remember all the assistants and colleagues I worked with. Without their support, the programs I worked in would never have succeeded. I have developed many friendships over the years of working in the district,” Barrett shared when asked about her memories of teaching.

“My favorite part of working in education was getting to know and to understand the students. I also enjoyed the friendships and relationships I developed over the years. There have been challenges over the years, but I looked at them as learning opportunities to develop and improve my skills,” Barrett commented.

Sharing the pandemic learning experience, she remarked, ”This was an interesting way in which to end my education career. I didn’t really care for it because I like to personally interact with students and colleagues. Everyone did the best they could in this unusual situation.”

Barrett is “most proud of developing positive and caring relationships with students and staff. I have enjoyed the years I worked in the school district and would like to say thank you for the opportunity to work with wonderful students, support staff, teachers and administrators.”


Shawn Anderson


Shawn Anderson graduated from Sauk Prairie High School in 1977. She began teaching at Pleasant River Schoolhouse, where she taught elementary students for five years. She then came to Sauk Prairie High School in 2001 and has worked with special education students as a case manager and a teacher of specially-designed instruction in reading, writing, math, and social studies. This past year, she has been “fortunate to work with students enrolled in reading intervention classes.” 

When asked what she will remember about teaching/working in Sauk Prairie she replied, “The focus of my practice has always been on building relationships with my students and their families. I will always remember the students and the fun we have had together! They have energized and motivated me and taught me more than I could ever have taught them!”

“The most enjoyable part of working in education has to be the students! Working with teenagers has been fun and memorable. I believe that I was called to work here with these students. I love all of them as if they were my own children. Each one of them will forever be etched in my heart,” she said in response to the question of what has been the most enjoyable part of teaching. She added, “I always wished that I had more time. More time to help my students with their homework, more time to spend with them, more time to support them through their issues, more time to share in their joys, more time for additional pizza parties, more time to just be with them before I retired.”

When asked about teaching during the pandemic, Anderson commented, “I have missed my students so much. I have missed seeing their faces, hearing their voices, listening to their stories, and joking with them. Emailing, talking on the phone, Google Meet, etc. is just not the same! Even though I already knew it, I have experienced firsthand just how much of education has little to do with the textbooks, the Chromebook, the curriculum, the gradebook. So much more of education is in the relationships we build, the trust that we share, the sense of belonging that we create. One positive thing about teaching during the pandemic is that I have been stretched personally to learn some new technology skills--Google Meet, Google Voice, Google Classroom and more!” 

What Anderson is most proud of is “my students and the people they have become. They have overcome challenges and frustrations, accomplished more than they imagined, and are working to carve a place for themselves in the world. And, I am proud of the fact that they will be able to accomplish that without me.”

Parting comments from Anderson are, “I would like to thank all of my students and their families from the past 19 years for trusting me to care and support them, and for all the joys and the challenges you have brought into my life. It has been such a privilege to know and work with you all. To my colleagues and administrators, especially Noelle Sapiro and Chad Harnisch, thank you for the opportunity to work at a job that I could not wait to get to every morning and did not want to leave at night. I appreciate your support, your flexibility, and your friendship!” 


Jane Busler


Jan Busler began her school counseling career at Sauk Prairie High School 1987and then moved to Black Hawk and Tower Rock Elementary schools as a K-5 counselor spending 11 years in the Sauk Prairie School District. Her family relocated to Beaver Dam in 1998 and she spent eight years with Ripon Schools as a 3-5 School Counselor. When the family returnesd to Oregon, WI, Busler also returned to Sauk Prairie Schools in 2006 spending one year at Tower Rock Elementary and the past 13 years as a Middle School Counselor. 

“Relationships and positive energy with students, families, and colleagues are two things I will always remember about working in Sauk Prairie. The Sauk Prairie community values education and educators; this is seen daily in the positive learning communities I have had the privilege to work in throughout our district,” Busler says she will remember about working here.

The most enjoyable part of working in education Busler says, “is the students! Every day is an adventure when working with Middle School students. They are filled with energy and excitement for learning! They are social young people who love to be in school learning, laughing, and talking!”

A challenge of working in education is “the increase in mental health needs of our students. Sauk Prairie has been committed to supporting our students through our Social Emotional Learning curriculum, Second Step, trauma informed care training, and continued staff development to support our students both in and outside of school” Busler remarked.

Along those same lines, she commented on educating during the pandemic, “Sauk Prairie School District has done an outstanding job supporting both the academic and social emotional needs of our students during these unprecedented times. I would like to thank our administration and teachers for all of their support of our students. Our students are responding well to online learning, but they are missing their teachers, friends, and classes.”

When asked what she is most proud of, Busler stated, “I am most proud of providing support to generations of students and their families over the past 33 years to address their academic, career, and personal/social needs. I will miss the daily interactions with students, parents, and staff!”

Her parting comments were: “I also want to say thank you to my colleagues/friends for all of their support and encouragement during my years at Sauk Prairie Middle School! They are the BEST team to work with! It has been a wonderful journey and I am excited to start new adventures in retirement with my family and friends!”


Joan Campbell

Joan Campbell has been a Special Education teaching assistant in Sauk Prairie since 1996. She started working at Spruce Street School, then at Tower Rock Elementary and finished her career at the Sauk Prairie High School.

In her words, Campbell says, “I will always treasure my memories! I have been blessed to work with many wonderful adults and awesome students. I worked at each school about eight years. Teaching strategies, curriculums and priorities change throughout the years, but kindness is always appropriate!” Her words of advice to all, “Life can change quickly! Appreciate each day and share the joy.”


Shanalee Carden


 Shanalee Cardin has worked at Sauk Prairie High School as a Special Education teaching assistant for 24 years in both the alternative program and later in the Resource Center helping students with their assignments and tests and supporting students in regular education classrooms.

 “I will always remember the relationships that I built with students.” The most enjoyable part of her job has been “the students, by far. I worked hard to find the uniqueness in each student to help them be successful in high school.” A challenge, again revolving around students, was “not having enough time to do the things (academic and social/emotional) that needed to be done to ensure the students’ success in life.” Finally, summarizing her student-centered approach to education, Cardin commented, “I am most proud of the relationships that I developed with the students.”

A future article will feature Sauk Prairie School District 2020 retirees Michael Carpenter, Karen Cody, Mary Hehenberger, Mary Holler, and Jean Lipke.

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