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Retiring Educators Set Up Festive Before-School Surprise

Four retiring teachers with more than 120 combined years of experience stepped way out of character to pull off an entertaining, celebratory prank last week at Institute. 

As parents, students and staff members arrived at the main entrance at Sevastopol School on May 30, they saw four of the teachers, dressed up in Hawaiian shirts and modest beachwear, sitting in lawn chairs, sipping no-alcohol drinks with little umbrellas and waving to everyone who arrived for the school day.

“Literally no one knew they were going to do this,” said Melissa Marggraf, Sevastopol Pupil Services Director who is in her 13th year helping students and teachers at the school in Institute.

Marggraf said parents stopped and honked, and teachers walked over to hug or visit with the soon-to-retire teachers. She said all four have been inspiring educators, and their entertaining gesture made one more lasting impression upon her.

Marggraf found it particularly humorous to see Dale Carlson – who has taught agriculture and led FFA for four decades and who usually wears a dress shirt – show up before school in swim trunks and a T-shirt made it look like he had washboard abs.

The other teachers included Heather Fellner-Spetz, high school English; Bridget Bowers, media specialist; and Deb Dantoin, sixth-grade teacher.

“They embody the best of Sevastopol,” Marggraf said. “You don’t know how to say goodbye to people like this. The entire Sevastopol staff, students and community are thankful for these amazing people.”