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Lake Geneva schools announce this year's staff retirements
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Lake Geneva schools announce retirees

Lake Geneva schools announce this year's staff retirements


The Lake Geneva Joint 1 and Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union High School districts announce five retirees for the end of the 2019-2020 school year. The retirees include Ann Quaerna, Julie Eckhoff, John Karcher, Nancy Lazzaroni and Susan Schmidt.

“The impact that these four retirees have had on the lives of countless students over the years cannot be measured,” Superintendent Jim Gottinger said. “These individuals have been esteemed members of Lake Geneva Schools and will be greatly missed by their students, peers, and the Lake Geneva Schools Administration. We appreciate their years of service and wish each of them a happy and healthy retirement.”

A librarian and a teacher

Ann Quaerna is retiring from her role as Librarian at Central-Denison Elementary School. She has worked for Lake Geneva Schools for 33 years. In addition to her current role as librarian, Quaerna previously served the district as an elementary teacher.

She is known in the district for her strong instructional background, her vast knowledge of children’s literature and for her extraordinary displays in the Central-Denison Elementary School Library.

“Ann created a safe atmosphere in which all children could take risks, learn, and grow. She is a very dedicated and talented teacher. Her excellence in teaching and her strong instructional background have been assets to the Lake Geneva Schools District,” said Janice Eckola, Lake Geneva Schools Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “If you have been inside Central-Denison, you have had the privilege of enjoying the extraordinary displays that Ann has created to allow the students to have an adventure in reading. Ann’s vast knowledge of children’s literature has allowed her to bring an elementary library to life with engaging books and resources.”

Quaerna’s daughters are Badger High School graduates.

School nurse

Julie Eckhoff is a national Board Certified Nurse who has served the Lake Geneva Joint 1 School District for 13 years. She was always sure to share information with teachers, the students, and their families.

Eckhoff easily developed a positive and collaborative relationship in the Joint 1 buildings. She also maintained a positive professional relationship with the other district nurses and health aides providing a supportive relationship between the Lake Geneva Schools community.

Health care needs for children increased over the last few years, the number of children with individual health care needs has been increasing due to increases in allergies, asthma and diabetes. Eckhoff engaged in professional development that allowed her to stay current with a variety of medical conditions and corresponding medications and treatment.

History teacher

The 2019-2020 school year marked John Karcher’s 31st year with the Badger School District.

“John uses cooperative learning, interactive learning, discussions, technology, and individual student projects as part of his effective instructional model. Mr. Karcher introduced new classes to Badger High School, such as Wisconsin History.”

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Eckola also said Karcher co-taught an American History and English class, and served as the district teacher at the alternative school in Elkhorn.

“John has shared his skills as a photographer to provide Badger High School with some amazing shots of the facility as well as student activities,” Eckola said. “In the winter months, Mr. Karcher led the Ski Race team in the role of head coach. Badger High School has been fortunate to have John Karcher as part of the teaching community. He will be greatly missed.”

Math teacher

Nancy Lazzaroni taught math at Badger for 30 years.

“One of Nancy’s goals as an educator was to bring the parent perspective to the Mathematics department,” said Eckola. “Mrs. Lazzaroni has been consistently active in implementing technology programs in the Mathematics department.”

Eckola said principals have praised Lazzaroni for her work with students outside the math classroom.

“She regularly attends concerts, dances, clubs, and student events,” said Eckola. “Most recently, you may have seen her in a Badger cap and gown delivering senior 2020 signs around town.”

Lazzaroni’s children and husband are Badger High School graduates. At holiday time, you will find herwith the St. Francis De Sales choir singing and bell ringing at Stinbrink’s Piggly Wiggly.

World language

Susan “Suzie” Schmidt served Badger High School for 23 years as a World Language Teacher.

Madame Schmidt — as her students know her — teaches French and Spanish classes, and serves as the World Language Department chairperson.

“Suzie is greatly appreciated for her love of languages, her passion for solid, engaging instruction, and her deep desire to help all students achieve,” Eckola said. “Madame Schmidt has been a lifelong learner and found herself back at school gaining information on instruction and leadership. She is a role model for teachers,” she continued.

In addition to her teaching role, Susan also served as a tennis coach and activity director during her time at Badger. She has been an active member of state-level professional organizations promoting World Languages.

Madame Schmidt fluently speaks four languages.

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