School: Neillsville District
Retirees (Mohr/Henchen – 2020)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Mohr, Henchen, Kosmosky
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 6/10/2020
Neillsville District Retirees (Debra Mohr/LeeAnn Henchen – 4 June 2020)
Mohr, Henchen Receive Informal Send-off From Their Neillsville District Colleagues
By Ryan Spoehr
Convoys have been a popular way of showing appreciation to individuals in the past few months, and two retiring members of the Neillsville School District received some appreciation from fellow teachers and staff members. In fact, the appreciation stretched for a block or two down the road.
With schools being closed across the state through June, formal ceremonies are being put on hold, even for beloved members of districts who are calling It a career like Five-year-old kindergarten teacher Deb Mohr and second-grade teacher LeeAnn Henchen.
Deb Mohr and LeeAnn Henchen were greeted by a convoy of at least 15 vehicles of former colleagues and students last Thursday as a celebration of years in the Neillsville School District. Mohr, a kindergarten teacher, and Henchen, a second-grade teacher, retired at the end of the school year. Ryan Spoehr/Clark County Press
Despite the restrictions, Neillsville School District staff members collaborated on a special surprise for the two retirees in the form of a vehicle convoy that went through part of Neillsville and its outskirts. Former students and already-retired former colleagues of Mohr and Henchen also participated in the convoy.
As the convoy pulled up to their houses last Thursday, they were greeted by honking horns of SUVs and sedans. When they left their homes to see the convoys, they were immediately in tears.
“It was a total surprise. I knew nothing about it,” Mohr said.
Mohr, who taught five-year-old kindergarten, was planning on having her former team members over for lunch that day. Little did she know that those former team members had some plans up their sleeves with several other staff members of the district. So did her husband.
“My husband said, ‘Let’s take a break and sit on the porch.’ I said, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of cars. There’s four cars coming. Look, there’s more coming. Wait, did you plan something?’ ‘Then the honking started, and I checked things out.”
Henchen had a similar experience.
“I had no idea,” Henchen said.
It was hard for both of them to pick what was better – the fact that their colleagues planned this event or that so many people attended.
“Both,” Henchen said. “But the end of the year as it was, it made it different anyway. So, this made it more special.”
“It’s amazing how many people came. It was ongoing. I love it” Mohr said. “It really made my day.”
The event was unaffiliated with the district. But, it was organized by second-grade teacher Amy Kosmosky. She planned it for June 4 because it would have been the last official day of school under normal circumstances.
After the two retirees had the unexpected additional joy in the day from their colleagues, they had the opportunity to share some hugs, talk and spend time with their colleagues. They also reflected back on their careers, particularly recently.
“One of the favorite things out of the past four days was we got to travel with the school vans delivering the school lunches and breakfasts. So, we got to wave at some of the students, because that was the hardest part – not having closure with the students,” Henchen said.
Henchen said she plans to have a picnic with her former students when it is advisable again considering the world’s events.
Mohr was with the district for 18 years. Prior to that, she was at the Loyal School District.
“It’s amazing. I got a truly good group of people to work with. They will be missed,” Mohr said. “They’re my second family.”
Henchen had similar kind sentiments to share about her colleagues.
“My staff is wonderful, and all the people who have retired before me too. It all makes it terrific,” Henchen said.
Henchen was with the district for 35 years, all of which were at the Neillsville School District.
“It’s a great place,” Henchen said.
Both showed appreciation for having their careers at the Neillsville school District.
In fact, Henchen shared that she hopes her time with the district will continue in some aspect.
“I hope to be back up at school working in some capacity when all of this is over with,” Henchen said. “You’re not going to get rid of me yet.”
(There were several photos on the center fold, besides two on the front of The Press, all taken by Ryan Spoehr of the Clark County Press. Dmk)
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