Retiring teachers, staff chalked-up decades of service to Moffat County School District |

Retiring teachers, staff chalked-up decades of service to Moffat County School District

CRAIG — Six school district retirees were celebrated with cake, certificates and congratulations by the Moffat County School District Board of Education on Thursday, May 17.

"Congratulations. After the service you've given to kids, you deserve a great retirement," Superintendent of Schools Dave Ulrich told retirees, friends, family and coworkers who attended the traditional send-off.

Ulrich spoke of his appreciation for the candid help provided by retiring Facilities Maintenance Director Mike Taylor

"I knew Mike wasn't going to shine me on," he said.

Taylor served the school district for 34 years.

"We've had a great run. We've had a lot of challenges. We've had a lot of support. I can't ask for a better career. It's been great," Taylor said of his work.

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The next longest-serving retiree at the celebration was Craig Middle School physical education teacher Todd Hildebrandt, with 28 years service to the school district.

"He has been an exceptional role model for all students," said CMS Principal David Grabowski.

Hildebrandt was also praised for treating all children as though they were his own.

"I'm a product of this school district, and I could have pursued anything I wanted. I have four kids through this school district, and they could have pursued anything they wanted; what more can we do for kids than that?" Hildebrandt asked.

Food Services Department Sue Wilson was honored for more than 21 years of service.

"She was my rock," said Wilson's boss and Food Services Director Laura Mouriquand. "I will miss her smile the most."

Wilson began substitute teaching and volunteering for the district in 1986.

"I appreciate all the support, especially that of my husband, for shoveling the snow and helping me get out of the driveway and into work during those many winters," Wilson said.

Tears and laughter resulted when a group of educators from Sunset Elementary School honored Administrative Assistant Beth "Momma Beth" Gilchrist for 16 years of service to the district.

"Now, it's time for us to let you go to be a grandma and a wife," said Principal Jill Hafey, after giving Gilchrist a number of gifts, including a dollar bill, often borrowed to use for a Pepsi from the school vending machine.

"Oh, I finally get my dollar back," Gilchrist said with a laugh.

Renowned for talking, Gilchrist recounted that, as a student she, was sent to the office for talking in class, the same place where she would eventually, "sit at the office of the secretary who used to discipline me, and I got to talk all the time."

Retiring paraprofessional Shirley McCarthy has served the district for 10 years and was also praised for caring for students by pushing them when they needed to be pushed, mothering when they need to be mothered and being stern when a firm hand was called for.

"I've enjoyed my time with the school," she said.

Though Sharon Farquhar was a teacher in the Moffat County School District for only two years, she retired after 16 years of teaching; most recently she redeveloped the consumer science culinary arts and sewing programs.

"We are all driven by the need to feed ourselves," Farquhar said. "It's been a fun two years. It's been fun to take a challenge, clean it up and make it shine again."

After speeches, each retiree was presented with a certificate of appreciation, gifts from the school district and cake.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or