The Verona Area School District will say goodbye to 317 years of certified teaching staff at the end of the school year.

That’s higher than last year, where the district lost 216 years of collective experience. That doesn’t include three members of the administrative team — two site principals and the business manager.

Country View Elementary will give a farewell to principal Michelle Nummerdor, as will Savanna Oaks to its principal, Sandy Eskrich. District business manager Chris Murphy will retire – for the second time – at the end of the year.

The school board approved the 12 staff members for retirement at its Monday, March 16, meeting, as all board members attended via phone conference due to concerns over spreading COVID-19.The retirements continue the recent trend of hundreds of years of experience leaving. In the prior four years, each round of retirements topped 200 years, with eight teachers with 216 years of experience leaving in 2019, and 217 years leaving in 2018.

For a second year in a row, the high school was hit hardest with the retirements, with a combined 135 years of experience set to retire. Those educators include Richard Dow (32 years), Stephen Lewis (27), Patrice Lynam (25), Michael Ray (31) and Dave Richardson (20).

Savanna Oaks will also be significantly impacted by retirements. In addition to Eskrich, it will be losing three staff members, including Heidi Becker (19), Ann Fredrickson (29) and Jean Marty (33).

Other retiring staff include Stoner Prairie’s Gale Chartier (27) and Kathleen Gee-Bennett (25), Sugar Creek’s Jobeth Kroetz (24) and Badger Ridge’s Susan Reddan (25).

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.

2020 VASD teacher retirements

Staff member School Years with district
Heidi Becker SO 19
Gale Chartier SP 27
Richard Dow HS 32
Ann Fredrickson SO 29
Kathleen Gee-Bennett SP 25
JoBeth Kroetz SC 24
Stephen Lewis HS 27
Patrice Lynam HS 25
Jean Marty SO 33
Michael Ray HS 31
Susan Reddan BR 25
Dave Richardson HS 20