Stillwater staff retire after long career


Photo by Sumer Harrington

Sandra Weaver sits with sophomore Kaylee Kellogg as they go over her schedule for her junior year.

Sumer Harrington, Social Media and Online Editor

In the community teachers, psychologists and counselors help guide students through the beginning years moving into adulthood. After years of help, eventually these staff memebers will open the next chapter of their lives. At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, three women will retire and move onto the next stage of life. Awards, accomplishments and memories will follow the woman into their next story. 

Laurie Hansen

After 33 years, Laurie Hansen English teacher and yearbook advisor, service has made many memories and accomplished many feats.  Hansen served as the Pony Express advisor for nine years before moving to the school yearbook Kabekonian advisor. 

“I had a really great group of kids back in 1996, who tried to cover a story that was really controversial, and they we got censored…we decided to get our lawyer involved and we kind of fought it and we actually won,” Hansen explained.

A teacher’s greatest impact is the ability to give and guide. From being a teacher to a guider, Hansen has helped many kids throughout her years. Seeing the impact years later, Hansen has gotten many thanks from previous students. 

“My journalism kids are the ones that write me back and say, how much my writing instruction helped other areas of their life,” Hansen explained.

Hansen was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, given to those who have had a long career in publications. An individual must have a significant impact in the journalism and publication field across a large group of individuals to obtain an award.

“I’ve taught lots of out of state workshops, and I’ve taught kids from other states and other schools as well,” Hansen explained. 

Once a pony, always a pony, and I will always be wearing red.

— Colleen Feldman

Sandra Weaver

Counselor Sandra Weaver had been a helpful hand in the community for 33 years. After a year of being a teacher, Weaver felt she was supposed to go about a different path.

“As a teacher, I had a lot of students that would come to me with concerns and problems and you know, talk through things and it seemed like school counseling would be a good fit,” Weaver explained.

Going beyond the basic requirements a counselor must meet, Weaver created bonds and trust within those bonds. She had built relationships with students that will last a lifetime. 

“The trust that students put into their teachers and their counselor to to know that we can help them,” Weaver explained.

Counseling not only impacts the students, but the helpers themselves. Weaver enjoys the ability to change the culture she takes part in, from student to staff. 

“So we kind of are in the middle of all of those roles, and I think it’s really a great opportunity and it’s a powerful opportunity to so I was glad to have had many, many years of that,” Weaver said.

Dr. Colleen Feldman

After 34 years of service, Colleen Feldman has made a lasting impact on many students throughout her years. After working in the special education department Feldman faced difficulties, but it was rewarding when students showed their appreciation. 

“She [former student] said that if it wasn’t for me and the work I supported with her, she wouldn’t be where she was that she would not have found her pathway and that she came back to thank me,” Feldman explained.

Feldman started out her career as a teacher. In a roll of a caregiver, providing social work services for children and families in need. She worked for eight years at an emergency shelter placement for children before she obtained her masters degree in school psychology. 

“I wanted to do something a little more proactive. And I had a colleague who said, I’m going through this program at University of Wisconsin River Falls,” Feldman explained.

Moving into the next season of life can be faced with many challenges, for Feldman it is not easy to leave her job. Many memories had been made in Feldmans career as she touched many lives. 

“I have loved working here and I’m excited to see where things go and I’ll be at football games and be watching things from the sidelines a little bit differently than I have,” Feldman explained.

Our teachers, counselors and psychologists are the ones that guide us through our years. Eventually, it will be time to move onto another point in our lives. “Once a pony, always a pony, and I will always be wearing red,” Feldman said.