Four teachers who are retiring at the end of the school year from the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation were honored on May 8 for their years of service.
The board of trustees recognized Lois Ann Buss, Tippecanoe Valley High School (TVHS) language teacher, Kim Eiser, Mentone Elementary first grade teacher, Brenda Vanlaningham, Mentone Elementary kindergarten teacher and Doug Heinold, TVHS industrial technology teacher. All four have a combined total of 131 years of experience teaching at Tippecanoe Valley.
“The greatest reward I have is living with purpose and passion in a profession where I have the opportunity to make a difference in the world. Teaching allows me to impact the lives of young people, and even to sometimes save a life,” said Buss, who started teaching at Tippecanoe Valley in 1980.
Buss taught French, Spanish and English, but also wore many extracurricular hats at times including cheer coach, French Club and junior class sponsor. She is also very excited to have recently acquired the title of “Nana”, and will be traveling to Michigan often to spend time with her first granddaughter. She will also begin teaching French part time at Grace College this fall.
Eiser says some of the most rewarding moments of her career include seeing her former students accomplish their goals and return for visits years after their days in elementary school. She completes a 35-year teaching career at Tippecanoe Valley, starting just a few months after graduating from Indiana State University.
“It has been a delight to see my kids turn into parents and to have their children in my class. The most important rewards are the lifetime connections that I have made with my students and colleagues,” said Eiser, who plans to travel, read more and possibly substitute teach during retirement.
The day to day interaction with kids and working with the teachers at Mentone Elementary is what Vanlaningham will miss the most. She calls the school her “home away from home” and will miss everyone, she said.
“I could not have asked for more from the kind, caring, fellow teachers here. Thank you is not enough for this great group of colleagues,” said Vanlaningham, who spent 28 years teaching at Tippecanoe Valley.
Vanlaningham is looking forward to being a full-time grandma and getting to go to more sporting events, grandparents’ days and just being available when needed. She doesn’t have any immediate plans for retirement yet, but says she would like to take more mission trips in the future.
“I guess once a teacher, always a teacher! Maybe just in a different capacity or country,” she said.
Heinold says the most rewarding part of his time teaching at Tippecanoe Valley are the former students he bumps into on a regular basis who have made a successful career from some of the skills, knowledge and advice they may have gained from the industrial technology classes they took at TVHS.
Heinold came to TVHS in 1985 to teach woodworking and drafting, among other things, and to coach football, baseball and wrestling. He will miss all of the people at Tippecanoe Valley the most, he says.
“I have worked with a lot of great people from administrators to students during my time here. I hope that I will never forget all of the good times that I have had from the classroom to the field. Tippecanoe Valley has been a great place to teach and coach all of these years,” said Heinold.
Heinold is hoping to still be able to use his skills for a while longer. He loves the computer drafting and robotics aspects of what he taught for the past decade. He also hopes to spend more time with his family during retirement.
“I hope to be able to consider myself a Tippecanoe Valley Viking for life,” he said.
Picture from left to right: TVSC Board of Trustees Vice President Stan Miller, TVSC Board Member Bryan Murphy, TVHS Industrial Technology Teacher Doug Heinold, TVHS Language Teacher Lois Buss, Mentone Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Brenda Vanlaningham, TVSC Board of Trustees Secretary Adam Heckaman, Mentone Elementary First Grade Teacher Kim Eiser, TVSC Board of Trustees Member Aaron Zolman and TVSC Board of Trustees President Todd Hoffman.