Three educators are retiring this year from the Fort Dodge Community School District.
Mike Woodall, Butler Elementary principal; Sue Wood, FDCSD director of curriculum, assessment and instruction; and Tom Kinseth, Fort Dodge Senior High activities director; will leave at the end of June.
Wood has been an educator for 43 years.
"It's with great mixed emotions that I made the decision to retire," she said. "I am at this point hoping I can spend time with my grandchildren, and my daughter, who live in northwest Missouri. I just want more time to spend with them because they're growing up so quickly."
A career highlight for Wood, she said, has been working in Fort Dodge.
"Being in Fort Dodge has been an absolute pleasure," she said. "I say this all the time, we have amazing people to work with, and have very dedicated teachers, very dedicated administrators. Just seeing the transformation in education over the last several years has been a highlight."
She added, "I've had wonderful people wherever I've worked, but I have to say this has been an amazing run, here in Fort Dodge. I will definitely miss my work here."
Woodall has been an educator for 33 years.
"I've done it for a long time. I've really enjoyed working with all the people, the kids, all the adults, everybody in the community," he said. "I enjoy helping people. That's what I've always wanted to do. And I spent a lot of time not only as an administrator, but also teaching and coaching. The reason I'm retiring is, I just want to move on and do some other things."
Woodall said he is unsure exactly what he will do, though.
"It will be something involving people, working with people, working with some of the things I enjoy doing, just like I've enjoyed doing this all this time," he said. "I just felt it was time for a change in my life, to move on and try something different."
One moment in his career as an educator Woodall is especially proud of occurred at Butler Elementary five years ago.
"Our kids were really struggling with reading so we adjusted the program and went to a situation where we diagnosed, like you would in a hospital, how the kids were doing and what their problems are," he said. "We rearranged our whole schedule so we had individual kids being pulled out and had people working in small groups with all those kids."
Scores went up for those students, Woodall said.
"We ended up off the SINA (School in Need of Assistance) list, which very rarely happens for schools," he said. "Because once you get on there, your kids, a lot of times are low to begin with. Of course, they can't help that. So we raised those scores up. That was very exciting as a principal to see all our staff work together and raise our scores."
Kinseth has been FDSH athletics and activities director since 2002. In December, he was honored as Athletic Director of the Year by the Iowa High School Athletics Association.
"I'm sad to see him go," Dave Keane, FDSH principal, said. "He does a tremendous job not only for the district, but he manages quite a few of the things that happen in the building. He's always served as kind of a role model for me, because he has such a good work ethic and does things the right way."