This year, 17 educators retire from Ramona Unified School District. The group is full of seasoned professionals, some with more than 30 years of experience. They each leave behind a legacy that will be remembered by their colleagues, parents, and students.
Lori Tipane of Hanson Elementary has been teaching for 37 years, 34 of them for RUSD.
She has spent her entire RUSD career teaching kindergarten.
“What will I miss the most about teaching? This is a tough one for me. I thoroughly enjoy each and every day of working with children. I will miss the enthusiastic joy of being surrounded by eager little ones wanting to learn. I will miss my daily contact with all my co-workers at Hanson. We are a true family working together for the good of all the children. I will miss that greatly. Our staff is a group who truly cares about one another and this makes it an ideal place to work. I will also miss creating lessons for kindergarten children.”
She also had too many moments to pick just one, but it thrills her when students come back to share what they have done in their lives. On a daily basis she loves the “joy of a little one reading for the first time or understanding math, and just the look of accomplishment on their faces is a thrill for me. Seeing the children enjoying learning is the best for me.”
She has been honored as teacher of the year a and has received numerous PTA awards. In retirement, she plans to spend time with her husband and extended family, do a little traveling, work in her grandson’s classroom, co-author a children’s book with her son, work in some capacity with the homeless, and volunteer at Hanson. “I am grateful to be retiring young in spirit, healthy, and happy.”
Bobbi Hardiman of Barnett Elementary has been with RUSD for 34 years. She leaves the district as a third grade-teacher and has always been a part of primary grades, both mainstream and special education.
“I sometimes wish I was back teaching kindergarten where life is so innocent, but I believe I will really miss my colleagues who are there when all you can do is laugh.”
Her most rewarding memories are from the classes of 9-year-old physically handicapped students when she was first teaching. “The power of their courage made the entire school population stronger.”
Her future plans include travel adventures and a kitchen remodel.
Jose Smith of Olive Peirce Middle School teaches seventh-grade health and science. He started at Ramona High in 1976 and also taught at the UCSD Teacher Education Program from 1990-2000.
He will miss working with the students in the classroom and the horticulture field trips. His greatest teaching achievements include teaching a seventh-grader who had just arrived in the country from Mexico and then five years later driving that student to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to enroll in college, becoming a finalist for California Teacher of the Year in 1999, and helping new teachers start their careers.