Retiring school personnel honored

Several staff members of Webster City Community Schools said goodbye on Thursday at a short retirement ceremony at Webster City Middle School.

Superintendent Mike Sherwood greeted dozens of attendees to the ceremony, which celebrated four staff members that retired with a combined 95 years with the school district. Retiring staff included Riley Powell, head custodian for Webster City schools for 33 years. Sherwood shared a short story about Powell, who when Sherwood asked if he was ready for summer one year, Powell replied no. When asked why, Powell simply said that there were no kids around during the summer.

Duane Harding was among those retiring. He served the district for 21 years and retired as associate middle school principal. He has also taught and coached in the district.

“It’s been a pleasure working with many of the people I see here today,” Harding said. “You’re going to be missed.”

Julie Tharp, who taught first grade for 27 years, was also honored. She said she was ready for her retirement.

“It’s been a good 27 years of first grade, and I’m ready,” Tharp said.

Linda McKenzie, who worked in the food service department for 14 years, was also honored for her years of service to the district.

Each retiring person was given a plaque at the ceremony, which also served cake and other refreshments. Each person also received gifts at a small table set near the cafeteria where the ceremony was held.