Oh, To Be Retired
At the far end of Craig where the trees start to grow
and the wind is strong and hot when it blows
is a place where old teachers choose to go
when they no longer want to be employed or hired ....
it's known as the Lovely Land of Retired.
This glorious place where the grass is green
and the ponds are wet
and the clouds are clean
is where all teachers long to go
when they're done grading papers, cleaning boards, and their energy is low.
In this final year of our school,
we are honored to have 2 such fools. (I mean, folks!)
They have taught & taught & taught & TAUGHT
With blood, sweat, and tears, retirement they've bought.
Our first - the physical fitness was her call.
She taught all the sports that end in "ball".
Jumping, skipping, swimming and diet
She has taught it all - What a RIOT!
Annie Stehlin was born in Germany, a brat,
Army, that is, now what do you think of that?
In '64, to Craig she did move
with mom and siblings - before the groove
of '74 when she did graduate
from MoCoHigh then moved onto Western State.
She left there with a degree, a Bachelor of Arts
in Physical Education and teaching in her heart.
And back to Craig she did travel
her vow she had made there did unravel.
She swore, to Craig, she wouldn't come back
like many before her - but she's here and that's that!
She's coached and taught thousands for 29 years
cheered on the kids and wiped a few tears.
Six years at the high school and 23 here
that's quite a feat, she deserves a big cheer!
Jump for Heart and cup stacking, too
she has brought many programs to you and to you
And to You and to YOU, remember she did once say,
"You're NEVER too old to have fun and to play!"
Now that brings us to Teacher #2
Debbie Frazier's her name - possibly familiar to you!
She is a local, born in our town
from here her family moved a little bit around.
Her high school years ended at Greeley West
In '71 - weren't the seventies the best?!?
A Bachelor of Arts - Elementary Ed - U.N.C.
is where she got her first degree.
A Master's was next, same focus, same school
A true Coloradoan now isn't that cool?!!
30 years! 30 years she has been at it.
Teaching the first in Eagle - but she didn't quit!
No! She, too, moved on right back here
Where goats can run around in the free and the clear!
One year spent at Sunset - then the next 27
were spent here at CIS - a little piece of heaven.
She's taught Literacy, Science (the favorite), and Math
but Lit Coordinator is the end of her path.
She, too, to her students brought many cool things
Started Outdoor Ed, Deer Lodge Park, where fifth-graders sing
And write, do projects, sleep in a tent
Thousands of students - on this trip went.
Alas - Mrs. Frazier - we raise high our cups
as your final message to us is "Never give up!"
So now here we are at the end of trail
with two Master teachers who deserve all our hail
and praises and thanks and lots of big hugs
as we close our doors and shake out the rugs.
Our school won't be bulldozed or torn to the ground
It is getting a facelift, a new name has been found.
Our staff is moving around and apart
And that weighs heavy on all of my heart.
But NOW, as we close a chapter here
let's not forget, let's make perfectly clear.
Our two Retirees are packing with care
And are headed to the land with tons of fresh air.
There's no schedules, no students, no bells, and no boss
I'm sure they may miss it, may be at a loss
But as they move forward, filling their time
The Land of Retired will suit them just fine!
- Poem read Thursday afternoon by CIS principal Kamisha Siminoe about retiring teachers Debbie Frazier and Annie Stehlin
A longtime Moffat County School District educator is preparing to say goodbye to the school that's been a home away from home for almost to 30 years.
"It's hard to believe," said Debbie Frazier, a Craig Intermediate School teacher. "Since I practically live at the school all the time, it will be strange not to have that as my second home any more."
Frazier, 56, has taught at CIS since 1981. Today is her last day of school; she is retiring from public education.
On Thursday afternoon, she and fellow teacher Annie Stehlin were honored during an assembly at the school. The teachers were showered with applause and praise from students and faculty.
Frazier, who originally is from Craig, was lauded by the Craig Daily Press during the assembly.
The newspaper named her its teacher of the year.
"I was shocked, just shocked," Frazier said about winning the award. "It never even occurred to me that that might happen. But, it's a nice honor. It's nice when you put in a lot of time and effort, and it's recognized. It makes you feel good that maybe you've done a good job."
Frazier began her teaching career in 1975 in Eagle where she taught all subjects at the sixth-grade level for two years. She and her husband, Mike, later moved to Craig and ran a restaurant, The Desperado, for three years.
However, a return to education beckoned.
In 1980, she joined the staff at Sunset Elementary where she taught fourth grade.
A year later, she found her "second home" at CIS.
Teaching, she said, is a "passion."
"I got a great deal of satisfaction from working with kids and seeing them make progress and make their own milestones," said Frazier, who also is CIS' literacy coordinator. "I don't know, it just kind of calls to you. It called to me, anyway.
"When you're working with kids, they're so alive and interesting that every day your job is a little bit different. It's just something I've thoroughly enjoyed."
Stehlin, a physical education teacher, also is set to retire.
She, like Frazier, is originally from Craig, and spent most of her career teaching at CIS. Together, the school district is losing almost 60 years of public education experience.
That the two are leaving the school - which soon will shift to an elementary school and be called by a new name (see related story, this page) - at the same time is fitting, Frazier said.
"That's a passing of an era, really," she said. "When you look at Annie and myself, we've been here together the whole time. A lot of staff members who were (at the school) that duration have retired in the last couple of years. We're kind of the last holdouts, so to speak.
"Actually, it's the perfect time to retire. Because there will be a lot of big changes, and it just won't be the same, really. There will be new beginnings, but it'll probably be nice to end on that note and move on."
CIS principal Kamisha Siminoe speaks highly about the two retiring teachers. She read a poem about the two (see page 2) during the assembly Thursday afternoon.
"When I think of Annie, I think of someone who has a lot of energy, someone who loves kids, loves instilling the passion of sports in kids, and helping them excel," Siminoe said. "I think she sets a good example by being active and being excited about what she teaches."
Siminoe described Frazier as a fun, active teacher who was well respected by students and colleagues.
She called Frazier and Stehlin "master teachers," who she was honored to work with and who would be missed by the school district.