Wilton says goodbye to retiring teachers
In addition to the retirement of Middlebrook band director John Rhodes, who spent more than 40 years devoted to building the Wilton Public School District’s music program, three other Wilton Public School teachers will be retiring June 30.
They are Wilton High School video production teacher Kenneth Boehm, Miller-Driscoll art teacher Karin Brooks and Miller-Driscoll classroom teacher Carri Vickerey.
Boehm has been an employee of Wilton Public Schools for about 15 years. During his time at the high school, Boehm advised the student-led Morning Warrior news program and oversaw the TV studio used by his video production classes.
On his RateMyTeachers.com page, a former student referred to Boehm as “great teacher” and “great guy” who “really knows his stuff.” Other students said he was “absolutely awesome, very kind and helpful,” as well as “reasonable and cool.”
When he retires, Boehm told The Bulletin, he plans to enjoy spending more time with his family in Redding, fly fish for brown trout and garden. He said he will also continue to teach multimedia development online.
Brooks has worked for Wilton Public Schools since 2005. While she had planned to become a teacher after graduating art school, Brooks said, she instead went in “a few other directions.”
But once her children were grown, Brooks said, she went back to her original plan and is “glad” she did.
“I have had a very rewarding short career and am so happy that it was in my own town,” Brooks said. “I have 400 students per year, so I have met a lot, if not most of, the young people in our town.”
If she could “turn back the clock,” Brooks said, she “could be happy working here another 13 years, at least.”
Brooks said she’s decided to retire for several reasons.
“My husband has been home alone for the past eight years and has recently lost all of his hearing,” she said, “and my daughter and her husband have a two-year-old and seven-week-old [whom] I would like to be more available to help when needed.”
Brooks said she also “didn’t want to miss out on being a seriously good grandma.”
“Teaching takes a lot of energy and I usually work about 50 hours per week,” she said. “I need to conserve some of my energy for my family.”
Once she retires, Brooks said she plans to learn some American Sign Language so she can communicate with her husband, babysit her grandchildren, travel “everywhere and anywhere” she can, garden, play her violin and just “have fun.” Brooks said she also plans to volunteer.
“I always planned to volunteer in our town, and I will,” she said, “but I realized that I can volunteer here at school [doing] art projects with individual classes.”
Brooks said Miller-Driscoll is “developing into a wonderful place to be,” and she’s “so glad” to have been a part of the process.
Vickery began working for the school district in 1999 after spending 22 years in law.
After deciding she wanted to teach, Vickery became a first grade teacher at the Driscoll School in 1999. Ten years later, she moved up to second grade and has been a second grade teacher ever since.
“What I’ve enjoyed most about my time in Wilton has been sharing the joy of learning by integrating music, art, rhythm and dance into every area of the curriculum,” she said.
“If I couldn’t find something fun and interesting about the material I was teaching, how could my students?”
Vickery said she decided to retire so she could “spend more time developing many of the creative educational programs [she’s] created over the years” so that she can share them with a wider audience.
“With more free time, I’ll also be able to create more wunderkammers, compose music, write children’s books, learn new dances, return to acting and savor the sweetness of time off the clock,” she said.
Click here to read about Rhodes and his retirement.
According to a personnel report shared with the Board of Education this month, retirements also include those of the following five classified staff members:
- Steven Jenkins, Miller-Driscoll computer technology teacher.
- Amelia Petrikas, Miller-Driscoll paraprofessional.
- Christine Brault, Cider Mill paraprofessional.
- Josephine Feigen, Middlebrook school secretary.
- Robert Dunn, Middlebrook computer technology teacher.