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Five Long-Time Ashland-Greenwood Teachers Retiring


Five Awesome Educators Provide a Combined Total of  Over 138 Years of Dedicated Service to Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools!

Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools will soon be saying goodbye and goodluck to 5 outstanding teachers as they prepare for retirement.

Mrs. Renee Kucera

Years at AGPS:  32

Positions held while at AGPS:  “Middle School Language Arts the whole time and loved it”

What Mrs. Kucera will miss about AGPS or teaching in general:  “There is so much I will miss, it's hard to narrow it down, AG has been my life.  First of all the students, I loved building relationships with them, having fun joking and kidding around with them.  Also seeing when they get something that we have been working on, fun to see them excited about school work.  After going on to HS they would still stop by and say hi,  I always loved that and so did my students.  I am really going to miss the students.  And of course the staff; I have built some really great friendships through the years.  I will miss Mr. Flynn when he comes crashing into our door, causing us all to jump out of our seats.  His frequent deliveries of newspaper ads delivered by students who have no clue what is going on, usually a 6th grader who is afraid of me.  Missing the funny things ( that kids do or say ) that we shared as a staff that always seemed to keep us going, the old stories of remembering when so and so did this or that in MS.  Mr. Flynn and I are probably the only ones there long enough to remember some of those stories.  It's hard to say all that I will miss, so many good things and great memories.”

What Mrs. Kucera will NOT miss :) about AGPS or teaching in general:  “The one thing I won't miss is the technology... and here I am trying to use it now. And might I say NOT VERY WELL!   LOL”

A favorite or fun memory of Mrs. Kucera’s:  “This memory is a funny one. Years ago a student brought in a snake that was about 8 inches long, and I went to get into an old metal cabinet that was in my room and there it was!  I ran screaming to the door and Mr. Bentzen was coming down the hall and I told him I could not work under these conditions...  Everyone just about died laughing.  And if you would have known Ray he just shook his head and kept on walking.  But I had that one really good student, Alex Kubic, who calmly picked up the snake and took it outside and let it go in the field... He will forever be my hero.” 

Message or advice to other AGPS teachers  from Mrs. Kucera:  “To all teachers... I just want to say if you are going to teach, you better love those kids like your own.  They are the most precious things around, they may get on your nerves and annoy you at times, but you still must show them you care deeply about them. If you do that you will win them over.  You may be the only one who they can connect with or feel that cares about them.  Take time to listen to them; it means the world to them.  And last of all Love those kids for me.”

Mr. Brad Jacobsen, Secondary Principal, shared the following about Mrs. Kucera:  “Mrs. Kucera not only has a passion for teaching, but she has a passion for people! Nobody cared more about her students than she did!” 


Mrs. Teresa Luers

Years at AGPS:  32

Positions held while at AGPS:  REACH, Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 4th grade

What Mrs. Luers will miss about AGPS or teaching in general:  “I will miss all of the fun interactions that I have had with students and staff.  We have had some great moments.”

What Mrs. Luers will NOT miss :) about AGPS or teaching in general:  “I will not miss all the paperwork, computer reports, or meetings to prove I was teaching to students.  I will not miss all the testing that I have had to administer to kids!” 

A favorite or fun memory of Mrs. Luers’:  “I have had a lot of fun and favorite memories.  I really liked that when it was Nebraska’s 150th birthday, I organized a fun activity.  All of the 4th graders made a video about Nebraska.  Each 4th grader had a balloon and we made an N on the football field, and then almost all of the school came to support us.  We had a drone that captured the moment, and we let go of the balloons.   (I know this may not have been politically correct today, but at the time, it was allowed.)  On each balloon, I had a tag that told the finder to let us know where this balloon was found.  I got a note a few weeks later from a really nice family in Missouri … 200 miles away that had found our balloon! It was an awesome day.  I also liked that our school participated in the solar eclipse in 2017; that was another great day to remember.  I remember this because it was on my birthday!   

Message or advice to other AGPS teachers from Mrs. Luers:  “Live each moment, you never know what will happen!”

“I have had an awesome career at Ashland-Greenwood Elementary and have worked with very supportive administrators and staff.  I wish continued success to the school district as it grows in the future.  Best wishes always!  Teresa Luers 

Ms. Teresa Bray, AGPS Elementary Principal shared the following about Mrs. Luers:  “She will be missed! She always came prepared, highly organized and willing to meet each new expectation.  Her desire to engage students and meet their learning needs has been so appreciated!” 

Mrs. Shari Nygren

Years at AGPS:  25 “wonderful years”

Positions held while at AGPS:  Head Start/Title I Reading, 1st grade, and Kindergarten

What Mrs. Nygren will miss about AGPS or teaching in general:  “I am a people person. I will miss the  interactions with the staff, but I will especially miss the interactions with the students; the looks on their faces, their smiles, hugs, and the ’I Love you, Mrs. Nygren’. The students are my ‘why’, my ‘passion’.”

What Mrs. Nygren will NOT miss :) about AGPS or teaching in general:   “I won't miss some of the paperwork and this ‘virtual teaching’ :)."

A favorite or fun memory of Mrs. Nygren’s’:  “A favorite teaching memory is about a little guy who was in my Kindergarten class last year and he would tell me, he really wanted to be in his friend's mom's class. I told him, I was sorry but I didn't pick the classes, and I was glad he was in mine. All year, he and I played little jokes on each other about him not wanting to be in my room.  This year, when he was in first grade, he came into my room every morning to see me. Another little first grader, who also came into my room every morning, said to him one day ‘why do you come to see Mrs. Nygren every day? Last year you didn't like her or want to be in her room’. He replied, ‘I actually LOVE her and last year I was just joking’.” ❤

“Not only did I teach at AGPS, but I also coached MS VB and HS SB, so I have many great and fun memories.  The year I was an assistant  coach for HS SB, we had to win our way into State,  as our powerpoints weren't high enough. The day of districts was so very cold, but we won districts undefeated,( much to everyone's surprise)  beating out the number 1 seed. Then the next weekend was State. The girls played their hearts out, going undefeated into the Championship,  and we ended up getting State Runner-up. Ah, memories!:)

Message or advice to other AGPS teachers from Mrs. Nygren:  “Teachers, start and end each day with a smile on your face. Greet the children, parents, and staff. Celebrate the ‘small things’, as you may not know how much that ‘small thing’ means to someone. Be prepared for the day. Be flexible. Be present at AG activities. Share your spirit. Above all, be an Awesome Bluejay. Be respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe. BE KIND.

Ms. Teresa Bray, AGPS Elementary Principal shared the following about Mrs. Nygren:  “We will miss her! Her friendly manner, her genuine care for our youngest learners and desire to make a positive connection with each of her students will be remembered!”


Mrs. Janet Rolofson

Years at AGPS:  13.5

Positions held while at AGPS:  Head Start Teacher, Early Childhood Special Education, and Preschool Coordinator 

What Mrs. Rolofson will miss about AGPS or teaching in general:  The preschool staff, the children, and all the administrators and teachers.  “I will miss interacting with children the most”

What Mrs. Rolofson will NOT miss :) about AGPS or teaching in general:  Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scales (ECERS) and Reviews

A favorite or fun memory of Mrs. Rolofson’s:  “I have so many great memories, but some of my favorite memories are from when I did the circus unit with my preschool class.” (attached photo)

Message or advice to other AGPS Teachers from Mrs. Rolofson: “I like a quote from Anne of Green Gables: Today is a new day, with no mistakes.  I often repeat this to myself at the start of the day when I am having a difficult week.” 

Mrs. Kristin Fangmeyer, Student Services Director, shared the following about Mrs. Rolofson:  “Janet's dedication to AGPS has been second-to-none!  Her knowledge and work with our children and families within our early childhood program has left a lasting impact.  We wish her the best and congratulate her on her retirement!”


Mr. Jerry Wendelin

Years at AGPS:  36

Positions held while at AGPS:  7th and 8th grade Social Studies, ELE Media/Technology Integration, Head Girls BB Coach, Asst. Girls BB Coach, Varsity Track Coach, 9th grade Volleyball Coach, Girls Golf Coach, Boys Golf Coach

What Mr. Wendelin will miss about AGPS or teaching in general:  “I will miss my ‘family’ at AG that I have come to know in 36 years, and I will miss seeing the kids.”

What Mr. Wendelin will NOT miss :) about AGPS or teaching in general: “I will not miss climbing 3 flights of stairs several times every day!!!” 

A favorite or fun memory of Mr. Wendelin’s:  “Over 36 years there are many.  Some of my favorite memories are of the trips to Washington DC with 7th and 8th graders during the 1990’s.  I was able to tie in the things we studied in class with real life experiences we had in DC.  Opportunities like that were once in a lifetime for many of those students.” 

Message or advice to other AGPS teachers from Mr. Wendelin:  “My message would be to try new things with your student or in your teaching.  And when you do, don’t be afraid to make mistakes or fail.  Learning comes from failure.  We figure out what went right, what went wrong, make adjustments, and try again.”

Mrs. Jill Finkey, Curriculum Director, shared the following about Mr. Wendelin:  “I believe Jerry to be one of AGPS’s unsung heroes.  In his role, he often had to put the needs of other staff members before those of his own – he did so willingly and with grace, never making those who asked much from him feel as if they were imposing. His dedication to meeting the needs of all students, his calm demeanor, his humbleness, and his positive effort and attitude will be so missed!” 

Five Long-Time Ashland-Greenwood Teachers Retiring

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