Some are booking their travel plans, while others can't wait to spend more time with their grandchildren.
Free time is set to grow for a group of 42 retiring staff members from the Marshalltown Community School District.
The retirees were honored Wednesday during the annual recognition tea sponsored by the school district and the Marshalltown Education Association at Dejardin Hall.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Peggy Niedermann, right, talks with Deb Mead at the annual Marshalltown schools retirement tea. Niedermann was one of 42 school district retirees honored this year.
"It's really tough to see this many good people leaving at the same time," said Marshalltown Superintendent Marvin Wade. "It's a loss for our district."
Many teachers have spent decades in the district and are now moving on to the next phase in their lives. Wade addressed the retirees saying their impact was widespread.
"I don't know if you'll ever really realize the impact of what you've done," Wade said.
School Board President Sherm Welker told the retirees that their dedication to the job has been amazing.
"We are deeply in debt to you," Welker said.
Plenty of hugs were given out and tears shed at the event.
"I'm going to miss my colleagues and my students," said Lenihan Intermediate School teacher Peggy Niedermann.
Retiring high school art teacher Julie Bousum appreciated the talented and diverse students she was able to work with through the years.
"Marshalltown has an amazing mix of young people," Bousum said.
Three of the retirees were also honored for 35 years working in the district including Tim Bell, Mary Fitzgerald and Shirley Mann.
The annual non-staff award, the Friend of Education, was given to Joa LaVille of the Marshalltown Public Library.
"Joa is very hard working," said Jenny Sloan, teacher librarian at Hoglan Elementary School. "We are very lucky to have her in our district."