District Recognizes Retirees of 2015

The Sartell-St. Stephen School District would like to thank our retirees for their many years of service to our district and the impact each of you has made.  Congratulations on retirement and we wish you well on your next adventures in life.

Laurie Allen

Laurie has been a teacher in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District since 1989.  During her 26 years in the district, she has served as a Kindergarten, 3rdand 4th grade teacher.  She also spent some time as a part time English as a Second Language Teacher.  Laurie had the opportunity to be the teacher of all four of her grandsons.  She will also remember teaching Kindergarten in the Sartell Mall in the old Floral and Gifts property with Jane Barton during some of the growing pains of the district.  It has been a true joy for Laurie to work in the district and having her children and many of her grandchildren having the opportunity to obtain a high-quality education from top-notch educators.  Laurie is looking forward to working out (but not having to wake up at 4:45 AM to make that happen,) traveling, volunteering, enjoying life without timeframes and new adventures not yet discovered.

Karen Kuschel

Karen has worked with the Sartell-St. Stephen Food Service department since 2003 as a dishwasher.  She has enjoyed working with all of the staff over the years and appreciates the children who have wonderful manners and take the time to say ‘Hi’ and ‘Have a nice day’.  She will miss the great group of people she got to work with at Pine Meadow Elementary.  Karen plans to continue providing daycare for her three grandchildren ages three, one and three months old.  She also will be biking, gardening, camping, fishing and just having fun outside during the warmer months.  In the winter, sewing, knitting and organizing will keep her busy. 


Daniel McLean

Dan has been teaching in our district since 1986.  He has taught 4th grade during his 29 years and has also coached junior high basketball and was head golf coach.  He also helped with flag football and volleyball at Sartell Middle School.    Dan was president of the Sartell Education Association for six years and helped negotiate a number of contracts.  Dan will remember the people who have gone out of their way to make this a great place to spend a career.  He has many memories to cherish and values all of the individuals he has worked with which will always be the fondest memories.   Dan considers himself truly blessed and lucky to do something that he loves and work with such amazing people.  Dan plans to travel to see his family who now live across the country in Minneapolis, Chicago and Houston-where his one and only grandson lives.  He and his wife also own a home in Texas which will make the winters quite a bit easier to tolerate.   Fishing is more than a passion for Dan and he plans to feed that passion every chance he gets along with finding time to volunteer to put his talents to use.  

Jean Muntifering

Jean has been a teacher in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District since 1987.  She taught 4th grade for two years and 2nd grade for 26 years.   She will remember all of the wonderful staff, students and families that she has been able to work with over the years.  Jean will especially remember the families that she got to know quite well because she was fortunate to have all of their children in her classroom.  She will also remember when her own children, Jeff and Carie, came in to the classroom to share their experiences – Jeff as a conservation biologist in Namibia and Carie as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.  Jean plans to take a trip to Namibia with her husband to visit her son, daughter-in-law and her grandson.  She also plans to spend time with her family in Minnesota including her daughter, Carie, and her son-in-law, Chris.  Traveling, volunteering, enjoying weekends at the lake, rediscovering hobbies and relaxing are on her list.  She also may be back to do a little substitute teaching, too!

Mitze Olson

Mitze has worked in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District since 1988.  She started as a substitute teacher from 1985-1988.  She then taught 1st grade at St. Stephen Elementary from 1988-1990.  Then she taught 2nd grade at Sartell Elementary for ten years.  She moved to Pine Meadow Elementary in 2000 where she taught 4th grade for 14 years and spent her last year as a reading interventionist for all students at Pine Meadow.  Mitze has enjoyed watching the district grow.  In 1985 when she moved with her husband to Sartell, the intermediate school had just been completed next to what was the old high school and three additional building since that time have been built.  It was exciting to play a part in the planning of these schools.  She will truly miss the wonderful people in the district.  During retirement, Mitze plans to travel, volunteer in her grandchildren’s classrooms, golf and head south for the winter months. 

MaryJo Peckskamp

MaryJo has been teaching in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District since 1981 as a Special Education teacher at Sartell High School.  A very special memory for MaryJo was when she was able to team up with fellow educator, Joe Perske, to help two students with special needs experience an evening at prom.  She has enjoyed working with many families and staff over the years and feels privileged and honored for being able to work with each and every one of them as they are all very unforgettable.  During retirement she is planning to travel, read, garden, bike and cook.  She also looks forward to practicing a lesson from her son which is to ‘be present in the moment.’ 


Gary Putz

Gary has worked as a teacher in the district since 1978.  He has taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade and was in several schools during his career.  He has enjoyed watching the growth of the district along with the positive support of the community towards education.  Gary thanks all involved – the administration, the school board, fellow staff members and parents and students - for helping to create such wonderful memories as an educator in our district over the past 37 years.  Gary plans to spend more time with his family and grandchildren along with continuing to work on another 37 years of marital bliss.


John Rausch

John started in the district in 1987 and was first a long-term substitute teacher in physical education and health.  Since that time, he transitioned in to being a Special Education teacher at Sartell High School for 29 years.  He has also coached junior high basketball and football, and was the head baseball coach for eleven years.  John will always remember the connections he has been able to make with colleagues and students which he knows will last far beyond retirement.  He feels fortunate to have worked in such a fine school district which has experienced tremendous growth during his time with the district.  John is looking forward to staying engaged in education by substitute teaching and coaching.  He also plans to travel and spend lots of time with his wife, children and grandchildren.

Julie Tripp

Julie started in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District in 1990.  She taught 5th grade language arts for two years and served as a 6th grade language arts teacher at Sartell Middle School for thirteen years.  She then became the assistant principal at Sartell Middle School for six years and has been principal there since 2011.   It has been an honor for Julie to serve the incredible families, students and staff of the Sartell-St. Stephen School district for the past 25 years.  She feels very blessed to be able to say her life’s work has truly been a ‘dream career.’  Julie is looking forward to taking some time to reinvent herself, travel, have time to spend with her family and enjoy time at the lake.  

Anna Mae Trobec

Anna Mae has worked in our Food Service department since 2000.  She worked at Pine Meadow Elementary as a cafeteria worked and dishroom helper.  Since 2004, she has worked at Oak Ridge Elementary as a dishwasher and kitchen helper.  She will always remember the students who took the time to say, ‘Thank you for cleaning our dishes’ or would ask her to ‘Thank the chefs for a good lunch’. Anna Mae will enjoy morning walks without having to watch the time.  She plans to travel, fish, garden and thoroughly clean the house.  She also looks forward to joining the grandkids for lunch…when she’s invited.