Don’t forget to say goodbye

Gizela Kwihangana

     As of May 22, of 2019, Benson says farewell to Ray Dewaele, Ken Rieschl, Bobbi Everts, and Edward Pamford, four valuable team members as they retire from the years of dedication to Benson.  

     Ray Dewaele has been at Benson for nine years specializing as a co-teacher. He contains two degrees, one on learning disabilities and another one on emotional disturbance. Working alongside students has been his favorite part about his job. He has dedicated his time to helping students find their way to success. He is the advocate for young people that Benson students needed; guiding them and encouraging them through their journey through life.  

     “When Benson think of me, I would like them to remember that I did everything I could do to help people out, always had time to listen and tried to make things fun,” Co-teacher at Benson Ray Dewaele said. 

     Starting out as a business teacher, Ken Rieschl has been the transition room teacher at Benson High School for six years. He honors his workings with students whose behaviors distracts them from their academics, by saying that it’s a give and take kind of relationship. Being surrounded by kids and being able to be an impactful person in their lives has gave worth to his every waking morning.  

     “When Benson think of me, I would like them to remember that I was fair, I truly did care about these young people here and I looked at every student as an individual. I hope they remember that,” transition room teacher Ken Rieschl said. 

     Bobbi Everts has been the athletic and activity secretary at Benson High school for over six years. She takes pride in the possibilities she’s able to create for the students. She might be behind the scene, but with her help, our athletic and activities functions smoothly. Because she chooses to see the golden of things, she looks at working at Benson as an opportunity. 

     “When Benson think of me, I would like them to remember that I was always trying to get on top of everything that I was supposed to be doing,” athletic and activity secretary, Bobbi Everts said. 

     Edward Pamford has been a Paraprofessional at Benson over eleven years out of his thirty-four years of teaching. At Benson, he taught science, math, biology, chemistry and physical science to students who needed the extra help. His passion for student success has taking him beyond classroom time. He volunteers to stay after the bell has rung to make sure that his students truly understand the material. As serious as he takes his work, he finds joy in knowing that he is helping shape the future. 

     “When Benson think of me, I would like them to remember that I was able to convey students to pass,” paraprofessional Edward Pamford said. 

     They’ve come to the realization that the time has approached them, but the hardest part about leaving is saying goodbye the memories, relationships and what has become another home, Benson. 

     “There’s so many wonderful young people at Benson, I am going to miss the day to day interactions,” transition room teacher Ken Rieschl said. 

     Benson is grateful to have had such wonderful people as a part of our lives.  

     “A friend of mines suggested Benson, he thought it would be the right fit and he was right, it was a good fit too,” Co-teacher at Benson Ray Dewaele said. “I am glad I ended up here.” 

     The relationships they’ve created with staff and students was a learning experience on both ends.  

     “I learn from my students as much as they learn from me, they help me keep my eyes open and they challenge me, which has helped me become a better teacher and a better person,” Rieschl said. 

     Although they are going to miss the regularity of coming to Benson every morning, they are looking forwards toward the next step.  

     “My next step after this is to clean my house and go camping,” athletic and activity secretary Bobbi Everts said. 

     Their passion for bringing out the best of students has kept them here at heart.  

     I want to keep on subbing, 2 to 3 days a week,” Dewaele said. “During the nice weather you won’t see me.”