Dinneen, Schumacher depart NRHEG schools — for different reasons
By MARK DOMEIER
School districts undergo change on a yearly basis. However, it’s rare that a school will have to replace an entire department. NRHEG faces that task this year as Georgia Dinneen and Sandy Schumacher have both left, though for different reasons, and administration now has to find new members for the business department.
After seven years at NRHEG, Schumacher has accepted a job in Waseca teaching the same types of classes: computer skills, personal finance, etc. This decision was “based strictly on geography,” commented Schumacher, since she lives in Waseca, where her children attend school.
Dinneen, on the other hand, has entered the world of retirement. After working in the business world for a number of years, she subbed for a time before teaching at NRHEG for the past 19 years. She said it was a difficult decision because she still enjoys her job, and the students often make her day. “They are the reason educators go to work every day,” said Dinneen. “We have such a good group of students at NRHEG, and that’s because of the good community we live in.”Both teachers used the word bittersweet to encapsulate their emotions upon leaving the district. The feeling is mutual for many of their peers. Schumacher and Dinneen have been acknowledged as being exceptional teachers and have been a part of many exciting opportunities at NRHEG. Schumacher has been in charge of the yearbook and student council for many years. Together, she and Dinneen started the Reality Store.
Dinneen also has taken more than 330 students to Washington, D.C., on nine separate trips and has organized the Veterans Day program for about as long as she’s been employed at NRHEG. She mentioned that Dr. Goodwin has asked her to still help with those, and along with subbing, she is excited to still be able to stay in touch with her peers and the kids.
Dinneen doesn’t have her retirement mapped out yet. She’ll do some traveling with her husband Denny, likely to include plenty of Minnesota Twins games. She will also attend school activities for her grandchildren. Plus, she said she won’t have to get up at 5:15 for her morning walks – she can get started a little later!
Both ladies have fond memories of their time at NRHEG. Schumacher most remembers the talent shows from the last few years, raising funds for the Veterans’ Memorial, and the girls’ basketball teams winning the state championship two years in a row. She helped put together some highlight DVDs following each of those.
Dinneen has a very specific memory that will linger for a particular student, Karina Gaona. “She could not speak English when I had her in 7th grade keyboarding,” remembered Dinneen, “and this year (five years later) she graduated as salutatorian… shows what hard work can do!”
Both ladies wanted to send out their thanks to the NRHEG communities and the wonderful students they had over the years and hope they made at least a little difference in their lives. Each educator will enter a new era in the fall, but they can rest assured they made much more than just a little difference. Their former students know that even if these teachers are short in stature, they leave behind big shoes to fill.