Janice Ehret . . .
The head cook at the Plevna School will hang up her apron for the last time at the end of the school year.
By Lori Kesinger
After working at the school for 34 years, Janice Ehret has decided it’s time to retire.
One of only two positions in the school kitchen, Ehret started as the assistant cook in the fall of 1981. She worked alongside Peggy Vennes for about 32 years. Ehret has been head cook for the past few years with Connie Lang as her assistant.
“Mrs. Charlie Neumann had the job for ten years,” Ehret said. “I thought I wouldn’t make it ten, now it’s 34 years.”
Ehret’s work day has started about an hour earlier than the students. Many of the school’s food items have continued to be made from scratch. “It’s simply better if it’s homemade,” Ehret stated.
In recent years though, Ehret has faced new challenges in preparing school dinners to meet new guidelines and nutritional standards.
Ehret has worked under five superintendents over the years.
“I love seeing the children, seeing them grow,” Ehret said. “I’m going to miss the children.”
With no specific plans, Ehret has just decided it is a reasonable time to retire before she is worn out and can’t enjoy it.
Herchel O’Connor . . .
Herchel O’Connor has taught numerous students to study science and the value of being active.
After 21 years as a kindergarten to 12th grade physical education teacher and seventh grade life science teacher for Plevna Schools, Herchel O’Connor is preparing herself for retirement when the school year ends.
O’Connor was a substitute teacher for 15 years before she was employed in her current position in 1973. She also coached junior high girls basketball for 12 years during her tenure.
“If it hadn’t been for school, I wouldn’t have learned computers,” she said.
Over the years, O’Connor has worked with numerous co-workers. “I enjoyed working with them and having them as colleagues,” she said.
With all the rewards of teaching over the years, O’Connor really enjoyed watching the younger students learn new skills.
“I’ll miss the students,” O’Connor expressed. “And the other teachers have become pretty good friends.”
“One of the highlights was the kindergarten through sixth grade students presenting the P.E. program at basketball games,” O’Connor added. “It was a lot of fun.”
In retirement, O’Connor doesn’t plan to have too much down time. She anticipates spending more time with her children and grandchildren and undertaking other pursuits. She’ll also get to spend more time with her husband, Nick, taking care of their ranch near Plevna.