Teachers, staff members retire after over 150 years of service to Ames High

Eight Ames High staff members are retiring at the end of this school year. The retirees include teachers Lucy Carey, Marilyn Hanson, Jane Jorgensen, Joyce Knol-Digby, Leonard Larsen, and Hilary Ziebold, as well as guidance secretary Janet Olson and registrar Nikki Wittmer. All of them have left an impact on one if not all students while working at the high school. English teacher Joyce Knol-Digby, known by many as Mrs. Tabatabaei-Abebe, has taught for 6 years. Once she retires, Knol-Digby plans to teach at DMACC, read, write her autobiographical novel entitled Damaged Goods, and travel with her dog Hoochie in her R.V. It seems she will be missed while pursuing other interests and cruising with Hoochie. “Mrs. Knol-Digby has been an excellent teacher,” junior Joe Thompson said. “She is very good, very good.” Another teacher, Hilary Ziebold, has worked for 22 years in the special needs department. Her most memorable experiences at Ames High have been with the students she interacts with daily. Also, she said she will remember her work with the Special Olympics. “Working with the Special Olympics athletes, especially those who started as non-swimming freshmen, was a memorable experience,” she said. Jane Jorgensen, who also works in the special needs department, remembers when the freshmen became part of the high school. “That year, my whole family was here together,” she said. Becky was in 9th grade, Julie in 12th, and Tom and I were on staff,” said Jorgensen. Jorgensen has taught for 27 years at Ames High. Leonard Larsen and Lucy Carey also both work in the special needs department. Larsen has been the senior senate sponsor. Carey began as a substitute teacher, but during the past 10 years, she has been working in the multi-categorical resource department. Carey said, “I work primarily with freshmen I love watching my forum students achieve success.” But there are people other than teachers who are retiring. Registrar Nikki Wittmer will be retiring this year. “When I retire, I am going to spend more time with my grandchildren and family,” said Wittmer. During her 23 years, Wittmer has enjoyed walking with the senior class at graduation and registering new students to Ames High. Janet Olson has worked with Wittmer in the student services office as a guidance secretary. Throughout the 18 years Olson has worked at the high school, she has worked part-time in athletics and has occasionally worked during the summer in the main office. Olson is retiring from the high school, but not from working. She hopes to work part-time so she can spend more time with him family and four grandchildren. Olson also wants to volunteer more. Teacher Marilyn Hanson has taught for over 45 years in the math department. After retiring, Hanson wants to continue teaching math at the high school as a volunteer, and she wants to get involved in other activities. Seeing so many students throughout her years as a teacher, Hanson has learned that students are a reflection of the adult society that surrounds them. As that society changes, they also change. Each retiring teacher has had a different experience at Ames High. However, working with such motivated students and staff, it is obvious that their time at Ames High has impacted many and has clearly been well spent. As they have done to us countless times, we wish them all the best in the future.