Farewell to Four PHS Teachers’


Norma Spiker, Executive Editor

The Pella Community Schools District offered an early retirement package this year and many teachers throughout the district have accepted the package. So far, four highschool staff members have accepted the offer and will retire at the end of the 2021-22 school year. 

Lisa Witzenburg, a special education teacher, has accepted the package. In addition, Cathy Hones, a teacher from the science department has decided to retire as well. The history department is losing two teachers. Bryant Hancock and Karen Ryals will both finish their teaching career this spring. 

For Hancock the package wasn’t the only deciding factor, but it made the decision a little easier. 

“The package was just good enough. I knew I was getting close. I wanted to go out while I was still an effective teacher,” said Hancock. “I felt it was about time.”

Every teacher retiring has been at PHS for at least 20 years. Witzenburg and Ryals both graduated from Pella, in the same year. They later returned to begin teaching in the district. 

“I went to Pella High school, and graduated from Pella High. When I first started some of my peers and colleagues were teachers I had when I was a student here,” said Witzenburg.  “It was a unique experience.”

Ryals described one of the most memorable moments in teaching. “Some of my most memorable moments are when I’m at graduation and students bring me their flower. It’s the worlds greatest thank you.” 

When asked what they will miss most about teaching at PHS, without hesitation, every teacher said the kids. The bond teachers create with students is always strong.

“I’ve had a lot of students that I have learned from them, as I have been able to teach them,” said Hones.  “I will miss my students and talking to them everyday.”