Moving On - CC

Moving On - CC
Posted on 05/31/2017
Kanagy Wickland outside Wilmot ElementaryBy Deb Hurley Brobst Staff, Writer for Canyon Courier
2 Wilmot teachers looking forward to retirement but say they will miss the kids

Two Wilmot Elementary teachers — Diane Kanagy and Rebecca (Pickett) Wickland, are are moving into retirement, ready to take on the next chapter of their lives while feeling wistful about the students whose lives they touched in their many years of teaching.

Wickland, 55, has taught most elementary grades for 30 years, 27 of them at Wilmot. Kanagy, 65, who taught for 35 years total, was director of Wilmot’s preschool for 10 years before teaching kindergarten for 18 years.

Both agree they don’t want to be away from kids completely and plan to tutor or substitute teach, but they also want to travel, and enjoy family and friends.

Wickland said this fall would be the first time in 50 years that she won’t be shopping for first-day-of-school supplies — either for herself as a student, for her own children or for her classroom.

Principal Matt Cormier said Kanagy’s impact on the community has been profound.

“In her career, she has taught approximately 1,000 people to read. Is there any bigger or better gift to give to a community?” he asked.

Of Wickland, he said: “Whenever we had a student who needed extra support, we could place them in Rebecca’s class, and they would grow and achieve. When we would talk about that as a staff, someone would undoubtedly say, ‘Well, that’s just Rebecca,’ in the way you would say, ‘Well, the sun will come up tomorrow.’”

Wickland was named Teacher of the Year by her school and honored by the Evergreen Kiwanis last month. Kanagy was given the Jeffco PTA Crystal Apple Teacher of the Year Award for teaching excellence in April.

Kanagy said she’ll miss watching the lights come on as kindergartners learn new skills.

“I got to share that experience with that kid,” Kanagy said. “Once you have that moment, they are connected forever.”

Wickland said it was always rewarding to see how much her students grew in a year.

They hope their students caught the bug for learning and will continue to be lifelong learners thanks to the skills they learned in elementary school.

“At our level,” Wickland said, “it’s all about loving learning, loving the story enough to finish the book. We want to open their eyes to all the things they can do. We hope they continue and strive to be better.”

They are grateful parents placed trust in them.

“We want to be that person that they feel totally comfortable that I will get to know their children and teach them,” Kanagy said.

They said they would miss seeing their students in the store.

“I’ll miss all those little characters,” Kanagy said.