PITTSBURG — Staff from Pittsburg Community Schools hosted a retirement celebration for five teachers and two superintendents this week.

The gathering took place at about 4 p.m. Thursday at the Staff Development Center near Pittsburg Middle School.

Among the retirees are Lakeside Elementary music teacher Jeanne Hoover, Meadowlark Elementary Library teacher Vicki Vanbecelaere, Meadowlark art teacher Teresa Horton, Pittsburg High School English teacher Lyn Schultze, Pittsburg Middle School teacher Teri Blancho, Superintendent Destry Brown, and Assistant Superintendent Ronda Fincher.

“I just enjoyed being with the kids and sharing music with them,” Hoover said. “When they are able to sing those songs that we worked on, that makes me really happy.”

Vanbecelaere, who has worked at Meadowlark for the past 13 years, said she is looking forward to spending time with her first grandchild.

“I don’t know what my new path will be, but I’ll figure it out and maybe call Teresa and say ‘hey, what are we doing and where are we going today,’” Vanbecelaere said. “What feels good about it is I’m leaving and have no regrets — I think it’s just time.”

The library teacher said her most rewarding part of the job was helping kids learn to love reading.

“It’s exciting because you think you’re going to get more free time, but we’ll see,” Horton said. “People tell me they’ll find jobs for you and say ‘come babysit for the grandkids now that you have nothing to do!’”

Horton said she is excited to travel and spend more time with her grandchildren, considering that not all of them live nearby.

“I teach elementary art, so I get to have fun every day,” she said. “I have everybody from kindergarten through fifth grade, so you get a wide range of ages and activities — it’s always changing so I’ll miss that part of the job.”

 — Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at bschmitz@morningsun.net.