Mexico Schools honor 10 retirees

Ten former employees were nominated by active and retired Mexico School District employees to receive the Pioneer in Education awards at the district's annual holiday reception Dec. 17.
The honor has been a tradition in the school district since 1985.
Following are the 10 new Pioneers, and part of the nominating material for each:
Dorothy Davenport worked at Eugene Field as a teacher's aide in the Special Education program. Many students had the opportunity to have Dorothy's guidance with their school work. She was known to be "a giggler," with a smile on her face who always had time to help one more. When she retired from the public schools she headed to the Mexico-Audrain County childrens' library where she could continue her love of reading and helping young children. Dorothy's patience and kindness is also found when she is working with her grandchildren and her great grandchildren--she always has time to help one more with a loving smile on her face.
Anna Mayson taught language arts at Mexico High School for more than 30 years. She graduated from MHS, and returned to Mexico after college. Anna brought her love of literature and her warm personality to the staff at MHS. Anna taught all levels of students, including students who loved learning as well as those who were under-achievers. Anna's wit, her laugh and her ability to talk to her students in a straightforward manner helped her students to be successful. She successfully made reading, grammar, vocabulary, and composition meaningful. Anna was able to impart her appreciation of English to many students during her teaching career.
Lance Fetterhoff had a special gift of engaging students in his classroom. He had a knack of being able to talk and teach history and actually get the students to want to listen and learn. Lance could motivate and encourage the student to work a little harder, giving it their best effort. His group of students during the Space Shuttle explosion will never forget how he helped each of them process the tragedy. Lance was a team player and not once said that it can't be done, but rather what can I do to help make this work? His quiet, sincere dedication to teaching students was a blessing for the district. Now, he delivers students safely to school each day as he drives one of the bus routes. He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Susan Atkins was truly a caring and professional educator. She had a way of building connections with students and fellow teachers. She was a big part of the heart of the Eugene Field School family. She always was open to new ideas. Susan insisted that the students read and write everyday, and also taught math in very engaging ways. Susan continues to support Eugene Field with encouraging words and has always set a good example of how to mentor students and faculty.
John McMickle enjoyed working with his students outdoors and indoors. He was the carpentry teacher at the Hart Career Center and then became the In School Suspension instructor at Mexico High School. John also coached the sixth grade boys basketball team. He expected good work from his students, and was respected for his knowledge as well as his skill. A number of successful carpenters working in Mexico today learned to apply their skills under the tutorage of John.
Velma Jones taught business subjects at Mexico High School and the Hart Career Center. Technology in its infancy needed instructors who could bridge the gap from typewriters to keyboards on computers. Velma worked with students to give them the skills for today's technology.
Andy Peglow was respected and appreciated for his work and was one of the sweetest employees to ever work at Mexico Junior High/Mexico Middle School. His diligence was visible everyday. He was dependable, responsible and could always be counted on when needed.
Chuck Rentschler was a dedicated Board of Education member. He has always been an enthusiastic supporter for the Bulldogs, regardless of the sport, but especially football. Chuck is one of the most supportive community members in Mexico. He is a student and teacher supporter in both actions and words.
Kristine Craddock began her teaching career at MHS teaching physical education classes. After several years she worked into the science department, where she encouraged student to broaden their horizons. She made the information important to learn. Kristine mastered classroom engagement and ignited students learning. One of our administrators today became a teacher because of her.
Martin Jones was one of the most positive, kind teachers to work for the Mexico Junior High/Middle School. He made all students feel like they were artists. He is a highly respected art teacher, as well as local resident artist, who enjoyed seeing his students learning at MMS. He taught a broad number of ways for students to express their artistic thoughts. Since retirement he has painted pictures as well as shared his talents with the Presser Performing Arts Center community.