Honoring over 700 years of experience in Riverhead

06/16/2013 12:00 PM |

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Thirty-one school district employees are retiring at the end of the shool year.

Thirty-one employees — with a combined total of more than 700 years of experience — are retiring from the Riverhead School District this year, including an assistant superintendent, the head of the teacher’s union, two longtime coaches who have led their teams to championships, six special education teachers and an elementary school teacher with 39 years in the district.

The school board on Tuesday presented plaques to the retirees, and board president Ann Cotten-Degrasse even wrote a short biography of each retiree that was included in a resolution accepting their retirements.

The retirees include Dr. Lois Etzel, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, who has five years in the Riverhead district and 31 years in education. She said she’s planning to get her SCUBA diving certification and go diving in Belize.

Barbara Barosa, a physical education teacher who has been president of the Riverhead Central Faculty Association for the past 17 years, is also retiring. She said that during her retirement she might still coach field hockey and volleyball and may also remain active with the union.

Also retiring are physical education teacher Wade Davey and social studies teacher Gerald Wiesmann, both after 24 years.

In addition to teaching, Mr. Davey has coached the high school wrestling team to championships. Mr. Wiesmann, currently an assistant coach of the high school girls basketball team, which won the Long Island championship last year, also coached the boys team for many years, winning a championship in his first year in that position.

And Joanne Niebergall, an Aquebogue Elementary School teacher, is retiring after serving 39 years in the district, the longest tenure of all this year’s retirees.

A complete list of retirees can be found at riverhead.net.

tgannon@timesreview.com