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Worthington Teachers Accept Early Retirement

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The Worthington School District is in need of extra funds for future school projects and to help free some dollars, officials offered early retirements to teachers this year.

To their surprise, more educators accepted the offer than expected and some teachers said they're looking forward to starting the next chapter in their lives.

"It was a matter of we just thought it was the smartest thing to do, it was a one time offer," said Shaughnessy.

Pat Shaughnessy, a social studies educator has been teaching in the Worthington School District for the past 38 years.

He was planning to teach one more year before retiring, but the incentive drew him in.

Teachers choosing to retire will receive $5,000.00 each year for the next five years, to be put into a health savings account.

Financially, the extra funds will help Shaughnessy, but the extra free time on his hands will be a little scary at first.

"My wife is concerned about any true hobbies that will occupy a lot of my time, because she thinks I'll go nuts if I don't have a lot to do," said Shaughnessy.

Mynra Nystrom, has been teaching for the past 21 years, her specialty is English.

Nystrom was heading towards retirement prior to the incentive offer.

"My husband has an apple orchard business and there are times when I'd really like to participate in that with him," said Nystrom.

The early retirement option attracted 14 teachers and altogether they had more than 400 years of teaching experience in the Worthington School District.

"It's going to be sad to see them go because I've got a relationship with them, the kids do and they're good educators," said Landgaard.

John Langaard has been the Superintendent of Independent School District 518 for the past 10 years and said now; officials are racing to fill the open positions by June.

"Our goal is to find quality teachers to replace them, which with all those years of experience, it's going to be tough to fill," said Landgaard.

For both Nystrom and Shaughnessy looking forward to some free time, they both can't walk away from the classroom entirely and plan to substitute next year.

"I'll be seeing the fellow teachers, I'll be seeing some of the students that I know, I'll still be in the environment," said Nystrom.

"I think we kind of need to be weaned off a little bit, I don't know if I can just quit and go," said Shaughnessy.

The teachers will officially retire on May 20th.
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