Carbon School District Honors 2024 Retirees

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The 2024 Carbon School District (CSD) Retirement Banquet was hosted at the district offices on Monday, May 13. Retirees, district employees, family of those retiring and the like were invited to enjoy a delicious dinner and honor those featured.

CSD Superintendent Mika Salas welcomed all to the banquet, thanking the Thayn’s for providing the dinner. Supt. Salas stated that, as a math teacher, she wanted to crunch some numbers. The retirees this year bring a shared experience of 205 years of education in the district, not counting what all they did before they got to the CSD.

“As all of you retire this year, you’re taking this institutional knowledge with you,” Supt. Salas stated, before saying this is something that is irreplaceable.

She expressed that the district is happy for the retirees, but sad for the loss to the CSD. Those retiring have taught and served thousands upon thousands of students, which is an impact that is felt all over the community. The dedication and selflessness of these individuals is something that is not quantifiable.

The first retiree honored was Toni Behling, retiring from Carbon High School (CHS). Her daughter, Carmen, spoke in her honor and stated that she remembers the late nights and piles of books that made up the long road and the dedication it took to get Behling her teaching degree.

Carmen stated that Behling was appreciated and loved before reading out a poem for all of the retirees about lasts: the last senior prank, bus duty, parent teacher conference, final testing and more. She said that these lasts may seem like something to celebrate, but they too will have their spot and are cherished memories that will be thought about a lot.

Next, Kerry Jensen, also of CHS, was honored. His daughter stated that anyone that knows him, knows that he is comfortable in the background and good at avoiding the spotlight. However, a career that spans 44 years deserves the spotlight. She stated that Jensen gives the best advice and is a teacher at his core. He has spent his entire life teaching others and sharing his enthusiasm for learning. First and foremost, Jensen is proud of the students that he has taught.

Castle Valley Center’s Beverly Martinez was the next retiree to the podium. It was stated that Martinez is going to be impossible to replace and that it is difficult to summarize her many years of excellence, not only as a person, but as an employee.

Spanning 42 years, Martinez’s dedication to the job was immense. Her many fellow employees were asked to give three words to describe Martinez, and through the absolute influx that was given, some of the words were compassionate, understanding, authentic, caring, committed, kind, fun and thoughtful.

Finally, Rebecca VandeSluis of Mont Harmon Middle School was honored. Fellow teacher Scott Fincher spoke about VandeSluis, stating that it was a privilege to be able to do so. Fincher said that one thing everyone will remember is that she loves everybody, even the people that she does not like. VandeSluis has gone through some very difficult things during her career, though she has always been gracious and if you did not know her personally, you would not know anything was amiss.

Fincher stated that VandeSluis has been an excellent teacher and has given her heart and soul to the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) program.

There were even more 2024 retirees that were unable to attend the banquet. They were Don Garrett of Castle Valley Center, Belinda Oliver of Helper Middle School and Darlene Riche of the Maintenance Department.

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