Among them is Marlene Michalke, a fourth-grade teacher at Shelton Elementary School who has been teaching for 29 years but decided it is time to take that next step in her life.
“It was just time,” she said.
Michalke has taught 20 years in Paulding, five years in Marietta City Schools, two in Japan with the U.S. Defense Department and two years in Oklahoma.
“It’s been 29 years of hard work, and learning new things,” she said.
Her love of children is what drew her into the teaching field, and she said she plans to keep helping children by volunteering at her grandchildren’s school in Haralson County. She said she also plans on volunteering at her church, Macland Presbyterian Church, and at Presbyterian Village nursing home.
She also wants to have the chance to meet friends for lunch and have fun.
When her husband retires in a few years they plan to see a baseball game at every Major League Baseball stadium in the U.S. They will put pushpins on a map to show where they have been and where they are going, Michalke said.
During her career she has seen the Paulding school district grow from one high school to five, and from not having state accreditation to full accreditation.
“It [the district] has made leaps and bounds,” Michalke said. “I am so impressed with [Superintendent] Cliff Cole and [Assistant Superintendent] Brian Otott.”
She also said she has enjoyed her time at Shelton and appreciates her principal, Jeff Robinson; assistant principal Laura Smith and the front office staff.
Other teachers retiring include Carolyn Baldree; Nancy Benschoter; Gena Cole; Wanda Cole; Linda Cowan; Ellen East; Mary Elliott; Joni Favors; Linda Godsey; George Gorey; Jo Holder; Dorothy Hood; Rebecca James; Debra Jones; Robert McLeod; Gloria Navarro; Deena Panter; Paula Parker; Marilyn Ray; Kenneth Ritch; Sharon Sellars; Deidra Sholder; Alison Smith; Martha Smith; Judith Solberg; Laverne Suggs; Jane Talley; Sheral Threadgill; Kim Toney; Phylis Toole; Cheryl Trout; Kathryn Waldrop; Jane Woellner and Virginia Lund.