Pella High teachers turn to early retirement


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Three people who have taught and impacted the students of Pella High School have decided to accept the early retirement package that has been offered to the Pella district and start a new chapter in their lives. Teachers, such as Matt Schulte, aren’t the only ones who have made the decision of retiring, Principal Eric Nelson will be leaving Pella High at the end of this year.

“At some point, you feel like it’s the right time to settle with the things that you have done. I feel good about how I’m leaving, and I’m satisfied that we are in a good place like a school. Second thing is, the school board offered an early retirement package, which is something that’s too good to pass up. Putting those two things together, sometimes you need to sit back and reflect and figure out what you can do next,” explained Nelson.

Joining Nelson,  Spanish teacher Paloma Soria will also be retiring at the end of the school year. Due to her personal circumstances, Soria has decided that she belongs in Spain with her mother at this period in her life. The choice to retire was incredibly hard for Soria as the school has been a part of her life for eighteen years.

“I will miss all of the students who have been through my classroom. It upsets me that I will not be able to see my level 3 students reach level 4 and see their growth in the language. I will miss all my colleagues, the building, my classroom, and all the stuff that I have here. I have grown very attached to it all,” said Soria.

Two aspects of the early retirement package that are especially appealing are single health insurance coverage until the retiree is 65 years old and a cash stipend paid out over three years. The benefits are offered to all teachers in the district that are at least 55 years old and have worked for the district ten years or longer according to Superintendent Greg Ebeling.

“Know that I am not leaving because I am tired or that I don’t want to teach anymore,” explained Soria. “I hope that I am not making a wrong choice, but no one knows what life has for us, and it’s time to start a new chapter.”