The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Staff-Ed: Decades of New


Say goodbye to Greg Agderian, Jim Mowery, Ron Poplau, Christy Schmitt, Ken Summers, Beth Jantsch, Janice Baker and Kathy Tarbutton. While you are at it, wave farewell to Bob Jensen, Kay Kassen, Carolyn LaFever and Susanne Kissane.  

A record-breaking 180 teachers are retiring from our district, according to Human Resources Director Ginny Lyon, including a total of 12 NW teachers.

The Early Retirement Incentives program introduced Nov. 24 offers an early retirement incentive for teachers who have worked in the district for at least 10 continuous years and are eligible to retire under KPERS. Those who opt to accept the incentive will receive 60 percent of their annual salary paid over five years. Teachers retiring this year cannot be rehired by the district but are allowed to substitute teach.

It’s a bittersweet goodbye.

With Gov. Sam Brownback’s recent cut of $127.4 million from education, the district will lose $1.4 million in general state aid from this year’s budget. Additional cuts are expected next year because the most experienced teachers can cost the district up to $81,000.

As a result, expect to see younger teachers, most of whom are fresh out of college. With them comes not only new ideas and enthusiasm, but more efficiency with technology as well. Education is an evolving field and teachers and students find new ways to teach and learn every day.

However, are the teachers that are deciding to retire replaceable? Our most experienced teachers have lived through it all – from the chalkboard to trigonometry tables to the introduction of technology. Is what the district is saving worth the lost wealth of knowledge and experience that these teachers represent? We can’t imagine what will happen to CCC without Ron Poplau or what will be missing from the language arts, social sciences and international languages departments as department chairpersons Kay Kassen, Beth Jantsch and Kathy Tarbutton take their leave.

We hate to see any of these teachers go, but we do want to say thank you for all they have brought to us.

The most experienced teacher can make up to $81,000 with 26 years of service and a doctorate degree.

Total current salaries of retiring teachers $919,369

Average salary of retiring teachers $76,614

Could save a maximum of $433,189 just at Northwest if first-year teachers are hired

12 teachers are retiring this year at Northwest.

180 teachers are retiring in the SMSD.

Calculus teacher Van Rose has been at Northwest the longest.

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Staff-Ed: Decades of New