All of the retiring certified and classified Porterville Unified School District employees had a total of 1039 years of combined service to the school district.

“They are exemplary individuals, our certificated or classified employees that have served our community with dedication their entire careers. They’ve extended that extra reach to the students that have enabled them to be all that they can be,” said Lillian Durbin, PUSD Board president, at the PUSD Retirees Social on Tuesday, May 14.

PUSD Superintendent Nate Nelson chatted with visitors and congratulated the assembled retirees and spoke with others at length.

Rosemary Merzoian has taught fourth grade for nearly 40 years for PUSD, and said, “I’ve loved teaching for all 39 years. It’s a great occupation and I love seeing all my former students who have gone into teaching and other occupations, and being successful and productive members of society. It’s extraordinarily rewarding.”

Merzoian spoke about a field trip her students recently went on to U.C. Merced. The kids were very interested in the living arrangements and the whole college atmosphere, and how you get to choose the classes you take in college.

They explained to the children that in college you have to learn how to budget, and you have to learn to be responsible for everything you do.

Rachel Ray, Devon Mathis representative gave California Legislative Certificates of Recognition to each retiree, but made a point to congratulate Merzoian, Carla Crocker, Donna Hatfield, and Teresia Hansen who have all been at the district for many years.

Hansen has worked for the district for 25 years, first at Porterville High School as a special education teacher and then at Los Robles as a resource specialist, and said after retiring she is going to relax and take a vacation.

Los Robles Principal Crocker is planning a trip to Montreal and Quebec, Canada. She said, “I’m looking forward to it. After retiring I’m going to do all the traditional things. Being with my family and children, and grandchildren. And traveling. I’m going to like that flexible schedule.”

Hatfied has worked at PUSD for 30 years and said, “I’ve always loved my job. Whatever position I was in I’ve enjoyed it. I worked at Porterville High School for 24 years, and then at the District’s Central Kitchen for a total of 30 years in Student Nutrition.”

Barbara Means, a Special Education teacher at West Putnam Elementary was at Special Friends Day at the Porterville Fair on Thursday, May 16, and surprised her students with a visit.

She has taught Special Education for 40 years, and said, “I really enjoyed my job and all the people who I worked with over the years. I started out as a general aide and switched to

Special Education.” 

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