It's not yet a goodbye, but it's starting the process for a collection of longtime teachers in the Marshalltown Community School District set to retire.
Nine experienced teachers were accepted to receive the voluntary early retirement incentive at Monday's Marshalltown School Board meeting and will retire at the end of the school year next spring.
They include Lois Eige (27 years in district), Patricia Fowler (32 years), Diane Lewis (21 years), Peggy Lynch (35 years), Pat Pistorius (17 years), Marcia Plett (26 years), Joan Smith, (16 years), Connie Stansberry (39 years) and Carol Webb (15 years).
"Not only are they colleagues of ours, many of them are friends of ours," said Lisa Koester, director of human resources with the school district.
The early retirement incentive pays health insurance for the retirees until they reach Medicare age.
Stansberry, a third grade teacher at Anson Elementary School, said it was a tough decision to retire from the district where she has worked for nearly four decades.
"I'm still going to (substitute teach) and help out when I can," Stansberry said.
Two other retirements that weren't a part of the incentive were also approved and they included Linda Stephens, a teacher for 27 years in the district, and Elizabeth Schmidt, a food service employee for 28 years. Koester said it will be a challenge to replace this list of retiring staff members.
In other action items, the board also approved a resolution noting it supports the Marshalltown Blue Zone Project, which promotes healthier living in the community.
The next regular meeting of the school board is 5 p.m. Dec. 19 in district offices.