More than 500 employees are being honored this week for over 11,000 years of service to Northside ISD at the annual Recognition & Retirement Celebration.
There are 237 employees being honored for 20, 30, 35 or 40 years of service to Northside, a total of 6,220 years.
Hundreds of other employees are also being recognized at their campuses and departments for 10 years of service.
This year’s 264 retirees total 4,945 years of service to Northside and 6,169 years in education.
The District’s Celebration will be held at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 8 at Marshall High School, 8000 Lobo Lane. The celebration is open to the public and all friends, families and coworkers of the honorees are welcome.
All honorees are listed in the Retirement and Recognition program.
The following are the stories of just a few of the employees who are being honored. They represent the true Spirit of Northside.
Bobby Wood, the Head Counselor at Hobby Middle School, is retiring from Northside after 52 years. She is the first employee ever recognized for serving 50 plus years in Northside.
She credits the students with keeping her young.
“The years have gone by fast,” Wood says. “I love Hobby and will miss the children and faculty. You get really attached to everyone because Northside is like a big family.”
Though she began her career as a 1st grade teacher, Wood has been a counselor at Hobby since 1975 and has worked with generations of families.
In her retirement Wood looks forward to spending time with her children and grandchildren and reading, playing bridge and riding horses.
“I wouldn’t trade my time in Northside for anything,” Wood says.
Janice Karmes, the Director’s Secretary for the Organizational and Staff Development Department, is being recognized for 40 years of service to Northside.
She began working in Northside not long after she graduated from Marshall High School. She was so young when she was first hired, her mother had to drive her to the job interview.
Karmes began her career as an instructional assistant before spending 17 years as a Coordinator’s Secretary in the Special Education Department. She moved to Organizational and Staff Development when the department was created in the 1990s and has remained there as Director’s Secretary ever since.
“I can always count on Northside,” Karmes says.
And Northside can truly count on her.
Rose Delgado is being recognized for 40 years of service as a bus driver. When she started with the District back in 1973 she made $2.25 an hour and drivers were encouraged to take their school buses home. (There was limited space for the bus fleet when it was located on Evers Road. Today there are 5 transportation stations around the District.) In addition to driving routes, Delgado spent 20 years helping train other drivers to get their Commercial Drivers Licenses. Delgado, or “Miss Rosy” to her elementary students, has driven the same route for years and has transported generations of the same families.
“They give me purpose,” she says. “The students are the reason I come to work and the reason I love my job.”
Delgado has also spent the last 16 years working part-time at Rudy’s BBQ in Leon Springs. One of her duties is to make the peach cobbler that is sold at all Rudy’s locations in the city. On a recent Saturday, she made 30 cobblers. Clearly Delgado likes to stay busy and she has no plans to retire.
“I think I’d miss it if I did,” she says. “I can’t believe it’s been 40 years. Time has gone by so fast and Northside has been very good to me.”
Robert “Bob” Bason, has spent 40 years working in Northside- 32 years as a math teacher at Holmes High School and the past 8 years as a bus driver.
When he first started at Holmes back in 1973 the surrounding area was very rural.
“We used to watch cows across from Holmes in the area that is now Ingram Park Mall,” Bason says, “And Loop 410 was considered the ‘outer’ loop!”
A lot has changed in the last 40 years but not Bason’s dedication to Northside. He has enjoyed the change in pace from classroom teacher to bus driver, and enjoys seeing his former students. Bason has no plans to retire because he says he likes to keep busy. Between his morning and afternoon bus runs, he even works for a few hours as a metal fabricator.
Sandra Eckhardt, the Child Nutrition Manager at Brandeis High School, is being recognized for 35 years of service to Northside. During her career, she has opened the cafeterias at both Clark High School in 1978 and Brandeis High School in 2008.
Eckhardt came to Northside for a career in Child Nutrition because she knew the schedule would allow her plenty of time with her own children. Developing lasting relationships with her co-workers and the students who rely on her for nutritious meals every day has been the most rewarding.
“I really like working at the high school level,” Eckhardt says, “When the students tell you they appreciate what you do and give you a hug, it feels really good.”
Eckhardt has no plans to retire. She prefers the busyness of a high school cafeteria.
“I don’t like retirement,” she says, “I tried it once but came right back.”
Marilyn Strodtman, the school nurse at Ross Middle School, is both retiring and being recognized for 30 years of Northside service.
Through the years she’s worked in Northside elementary, middle and highs schools, but says middle school has been the best fit for her.
“The middle school students are just realizing their potential,” says Strodtman, “and sometimes they need a little reassurance. I am amazed at the dedication of teachers and staff and I just try to do my part to help them support students.”
After working in a hospital setting early in her nursing career, Strodtman says being a school nurse has challenged her to keep up with the diverse medical needs of the students she serves. She’s grateful to have been in Northside for 30 years, but looks forward to the time she will now get to spend traveling and being with her family.
She’s told a few students she is retiring and took it as a compliment when one of them told her, “you don’t look that old.”
We thank all of our dedicated employees for their service and commitment to the children of Northside ISD.