Teachers Leaving GEHS

Teachers Leaving GEHS

The arrival of the end of the school year normally means there will be some changes, and that is true for this year. Gardner Edgerton High School will have multiple teachers leaving this year.
Becky Dimmitt
Becky Dimmitt

One of the teachers leaving is Becky Dimmitt, a family consumer science teacher. Dimmitt taught Career and Life Planning and Fashion Trends. This is Dimmitt’s second year teaching at GEHS, but her thirteenth year teaching in total. Dimmitt is retiring and has many plans to fill her free time.

“So I’m going to garden and read and clean house and help take care of my 97 year old mother,” Dimmitt said.

Dimmitt explained that one of the things she is looking forward to is not setting her  alarm clock for the morning.

Dimmitt’s favorite thing about GEHS is the students and will miss getting to know them and the staff.

“I’ll miss people,” she said.

Working in a big school has shown Dimmitt a different perspective and has left an impact. 

“It’s been interesting to work in a school with this many students,” Dimmitt said. “It’s given me a different perspective of what it is like to be a teenager today attending a school of this size.”

Dimmitt had two goodbyes. One for the staff and one for her students.

“To staff I would say I appreciate the comradery and the support I have received. I appreciate the friendships that I’ve been able to make,” she said. “I have felt very much supported by the administration and that’s been very important to me you know to make this a great experience.”

“And for my students, what I would say to them is work to become the best version of yourself,” Dimmitt said.

Mary Schulte
Mary Schulte

The Digital Photography and the Broadcast Journalism teacher, Mary Schulte will also be leaving GEHS after teaching here for five years. After leaving she plans to travel, work in her garden, and spend time with her granddaughter.  

“I have a trip to Spain and Portugal planned at the end of May and into June, and I’m going to work in my garden,” she said. “I have a two year old granddaughter who will probably be getting the most of my time.”

Though Schulte is no longer going to be teaching at GEHS she will continue to teach courses at Johnson County Community College.

“I will continue to teach at Johnson County Community College. I teach online courses over there,” Schulte said.

Though she enjoyed teaching here, Schulte’s time here was not exactly normal.

“However, starting teaching five years ago was not a very smart move because the first semester I was just green, I didn’t know anything or anybody and second semester of my first we went into lockdown,” Schulte said. “So my entire five year career has been Covid messed. Would have been nice to have a normal year.”

Schulte’s favorite thing about GEHS is the students. She enjoys getting to watch her students win awards and succeed. Shulte also explained that some of her favorite moments were getting to spend time with her student’s on trips.

“My Broadcast students and I went to the National High School Journalism Convention about two weeks ago and that was pretty fun,” Schulte said. “Five of them went to that. So getting to spend time with students outside of class time is pretty fun.”

Schulte said that teaching has had the biggest impact on her during her time at GEHS.

“My initial degrees were teaching degrees, but I never went into the field,” she said. “I then started doing journalism and I worked at newspapers at the Kansas City Star for 29 years, so getting back to teaching was pretty cool. It was very nice to be able to come back to it.”

“I love you, I believe in you, and I will miss you,” Schulte said.

Brooke Wardle
Brooke Wardle

Brooke Wardle, a Spanish teacher is also leaving GEHS after being here for two years. Wardle’s plan for the future is to work as an admissions counselor at Baker University and get her masters. While Wardle is sad to leave, she is excited to get the chance to see other opportunities.

“I’m looking forward to growing in my own education, and seeing new opportunities outside of the classroom for a bit,” Wardle said. “I am going to be sad to leave the classroom, but I want to focus on my masters and teaching doesn’t necessarily allow me to do that at this current time. I’m sad to leave but it’s all for good reasons.”

Wardle explained that she loves everything about GEHS.

“The admin is always so supportive for teachers, the students, just the environment [is my favorite]. I feel like Blazer Nation has a really positive atmosphere,” Wardle said.

Wardle will miss a lot of aspects of GEHS.

“I’ve grown a lot of relationships with students and teachers in these past two years so leaving is just going to be hard in general,” she said. “I haven’t taught for very long [so] GEHS was essentially my first home base for teaching so it’ll feel weird to leave my home base for teaching. I’ll miss it all.”

Wardle wanted students to learn from her experience.

“Don’t let the fear of missing out or fear of a new situation stop you from growing or igniting your passion for what you want to do in life,” she said. 

“Don’t let fear of a situation stop you from doing what you want to do,” Wardle said.

Carlene Stueve
Carlene Stueve

Former National Honors Society sponsor and current College Now English teacher, Carlene Stueve, will be retiring from GEHS this year. After teaching at this school for eight years and teaching in general for 39, she plans to retire and travel around the country.

“I’m retiring from teaching and right now my plan is that I won’t return to [it],” Stueve said, “I still have nine more years on my license, so, I guess if I really hate [retirement] I could come back somewhere else. But my husband is also a teacher and he is retiring this year [as well], and we plan to travel around the country. We want to go see the state national parks.”

Besides traveling, Stueve is looking forward to having extra time for new hobbies during her retirement.

“What I think of as doing a good [teaching] job takes a lot of my personal time, and there’s a lot of things that I’ve wanted to learn to do that I haven’t had time [for],” Stueve said. “I’m going to learn how to crochet, and I own a lot of supplies for art projects that I never seem to find time to do, so I’m going to work on those kind of things.”

Stueve says that after leaving the school she will miss her students the most.

“Honestly, what I will miss the most is students, and getting to know them, and reading their sacred writing notebooks because they write about themselves and their thoughts,” Stueve said. “That’s my favorite thing to read, it’s just these short little journal-type entries [where students] write about all kinds of things and I’m going to miss that, I really am.”

Stueve says that if she could say something to students in high school, she would tell them to not sweat the small stuff.

“I would tell [the students] to think of their life as a timeline,” Stueve said. “If you imagine your life as a timeline of 80 years, high school is four of those. It is a drop in the bucket, [so] don’t get sucked into the crazy and the drama so much. [It] feels huge in the now, [but it] is small stuff that won’t matter in the timeline of your life. So be strong, be yourself, be courageous to be yourself, and remember that in the big scheme of things, this isn’t even the good stuff yet.”

“If you ever think about contacting an old teacher, do it. It will make their day, and yes, they will remember you,” Stueve said.

Joshua Johnson
Joshua Johnson

Joshua Johnson, a World Geography and World History teacher, and a sponsor of Tabletop Gaming Club and GSA, is also leaving GEHS after this school year. After teaching here for four years and teaching altogether for eleven, Johnson plans to work at the Johnson County Funeral Chapel.

“After I leave GEHS, I’m actually going to be taking a break from education for a little bit and I am going to be a family services counselor at Johnson County Funeral Chapel on Metcalf in Overland Park,” Johnson said. “I’ll be helping people with arranging end of life planning, and helping if they have a need. So it’s going to be a big shift, but one where I feel like I can still help people, but just in a different capacity.”

Johnson’s favorite things about GEHS are getting to teach where he went to high school, making great friendships, and the students and getting to see them grow.

“Having gone here, it was really awesome to get to teach at the place where I went to high school,” Johnson said. “Also I made some fantastic friendships here. Like Mr. Mayeske and I obviously became very close, Mr. Fleer and I, Ms. Baker-Delaney. There’s others but like, kind of the people in my immediate vicinity. Also there’s a lot of students who I’ve had the opportunity to see grow over the last four years, and that’s been really awesome to see.”

Out of things that stemmed from GEHS, the teachers who taught Johnson had the biggest impact on him.

“The teachers who taught me inspired me to want to be a teacher, [people] like, Ms. Gillette Ms. Osborn, Mr. Abromeit, Mr. Cochran, Mr. McGee, Ms. McCormick, like, a bunch of people that were my teachers kind of inspired me to want to be a teacher,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that if he could say something to all the students and staff here, he would thank them for making his experience here such a good one.

“Thank you all [students and staff] for having made this place a wonderful place to be for the last four years, and I hope that you all have success in everything you aspire to [do], whether that’s sports, theater, art, [or] music,” Johnson said.

“Remember to be excellent to each other and go Blazers,” Johnson said.

Jonas Pippitt
Jonas Pippitt

Jonas Pippitt, a math teacher here who has also worked with the Prom Planning Committee, is leaving after working here for three years. Because Pippitt is moving, he will work at another school after leaving.

“I am moving,” Pippitt said. “I live in Missouri now, and I am going to be teaching at Park Hill South High School.”

Pippitt says that his favorite thing about GEHS is the community and the staff.

“The community and the staff here [are my favorite thing about the school],” Pippitt said. “The teachers here are really incredible and it influences the way that students act, and it just creates a really fun environment. We [also] have a long history of winning, at academics, and at sports, and it’s a really fun place to be.”

When leaving GEHS, Pippitt says that what he will miss the most is most likely the connections he has made.

“I’ll probably miss the connections that I have with people here, whether it’s students or faculty,” Pippitt said.

Because Pippitt used to go to school here, the connections that he created with people made a big impact on him as a teacher.

“Before I taught here I was a student here, so forming those connections with people has made a big impact on me as the teacher that I am [because] I got to experience the great teachers that are here,” Pippitt said. “And, while I’ve been here, we’ve had great building leadership from Principal Bell and our other assistant principals.”

If Pippitt could say something to all the students, he would tell them to take a chance to do something out of their comfort zone.

“[I would tell all the students to] take a chance to be vulnerable and it will open up other opportunities for [them],” Pippitt said.

“Be safe, be happy, behave,” Pippitt said.

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