Kelly Buehler retires after 33 years
Wed, 05/18/2022 - 1:42pm admin
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
CRESCO - Kelly Buehler has taught in the Howard-Winneshiek School District her entire teaching career of 33 years.
Her first year, in 1989-90, was at the Notre Dame Middle School. In the fall of 1990 she was hired at the public school, teaching the TAG Program in grades 3-6 and H.O.T.S (Higher Order Thinking Skills) for three years to most elementary classes at the outlying centers of Ridgeway, Elma and Lime Springs, as well as Cresco.
“I then taught at Ridgeway Elementary for 17 years, 14 of those in second grade and three in third. After closure of Ridgeway Elementary in 2010, I transferred to Cresco Elementary, and again taught third grade for a few years before switching back to second grade from then until now.”
Her most satisfying moments of teaching came while building positive relationships with students and staff, supportive parents and families, who become your partners in education, seeing amazing growth in young learners and feeling that pride and connection of being a class “team” and school family.
What are some of her funniest moments as a teacher? “The pure innocence of what primary kids say and do. For example, just a simple teacher haircut can result in student comments such as, ‘Whoa! That’s crazy.’ When students get glasses and they think they join teachers and peers in the special ‘Glasses Club,’ and you convince them the password is ICU!”
There are always some embarrassing moments when being the center of attention in a classroom. Mrs. Buehler joked she has probably had many that she’s chosen to block out, but does admit several times it’s been a shoe thing.
“Often when getting ready at home before school, I would put two different shoes on, debating which color or style matched my outfit better and/or was most comfortable. Then, after finishing getting ready, out the door I’d go. After arriving at school, I’d look down at my feet to realize I had not made a shoe decision because one of each, not matching, was still on my feet!
“I wish I could say this only happened once, but…. luckily, I always have lived close to school and could buzz home to fix the problem.”
Mrs. Buehler has learned that both a student locker and desk can hold lots and lots of things in it — predictable and unpredictable. “But getting out of a locker is not always as easy as the choice was to get in, especially if the locker door jams!”
She will miss daily student hugs after she retires. “I will also miss gratitude and appreciation shown and shared from others, building positive relationships, watching kids interact, cooperate, learn and grow, as well as the joy I’ve felt over the years from learning alongside students and staff.”
What will she miss the least? “Recess duty on cold, windy, winter days, doing report cards, the standardized testing cycles, technology struggles, spilled milk and water in the classroom, and moments of disrespect that some students choose toward each other and adults in charge.”
Her plans for retirement include spending more time for being with and helping family and visiting friends. Her family includes two amazing daughters who were born, raised and graduated from Crestwood. Ashley, the oldest, is an occupational therapist at St. Lukes Hospital in Cedar Rapids and is married to her husband Marc Hughes (from England). They live in Marion. They had their first child in March 2022 (Salem), making her Mrs. Buehler’s first granddaughter.
“My younger daughter is Erin, living near McGregor, teaching PE at Postville. I also am blessed to have a very supportive significant other and happy ongoing relationship with him of 10 years, Doug Berg.”
Besides looking forward to being “Grandma” to Salem, she plans to play pickleball and seek new, positive and enjoyable experiences and opportunities in the community, “Obviously those are yet to be determined,” she smiled.
“Like I told the H-W staff in an email when I made the very difficult decision to retire — ‘It’s been an incredible run that I will be forever grateful for, but I’ve crossed that finish line. My legs will still carry me forward and my heart is beating strong and happy. My ‘bucket’ list does NOT have me running a teaching marathon, but in many ways I’ve won! I’m gratefully blessed, happy, healthy, and I can now take on the next adventure that comes my way.