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Four South Staff members are set to retire

From left to right are the following staff members: Darla Phillips, Kelly Groom, Karen Sturges, Mary Kenady. Staff photo.

From left to right are the following staff members: Darla Phillips, Kelly Groom, Karen Sturges, Mary Kenady. Staff photo.

Joanne Lee, Entertainment Editor

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Another end of the school year means some hard goodbyes for some of the staff members.

The staff members who will be retiring this year are business teacher Darla Phillips, counselor Mary Kenady, in school suspension teacher and assistant football coach Kelly Groom, and receptionist Karen Sturges.

Darla Phillips has been a teacher at South for 16 years and has been teaching for a total of 25 years. Phillips favorite part about being a teacher was being able to help students come out of her class with something they will use for the rest of their lives, such as creating a resume or using computer programs. Phillips favorite memory was pranking the former business teacher Dave Priddy.

“Mr. Priddy, the Keyboarding teacher, was the target of a huge practical joke from the ladies in the offices. I heard them talking about having Priddy’s wife in on the joke and that they had asked for his old yearbook. They found a random woman’s name to set up a dummy Hotmail account and wrote him and told him she had been in love with him for all this time and had just found the courage to tell him. He visited the office and told the office ladies he had been receiving emails from a woman from his old high school. They gave him “advice” and I was in the office when they were trying to figure out how to end

the joke. I suggested I dress up like the woman with a wig and dress and make a visit to South to see him. They loved the idea. Mr. Priddy received an email from her that morning saying she was going to arrive that week. He was so nervous every day. I dressed up the woman and it was indescribable—the look on his face. We snapped really fun pictures as he came around the corner after being called to the office. The look on his face was priceless. He never suspected anything the whole time. It was really fun to be a part of that,” Phillips said.

Phillip’s plans after retirement is to go into ministry with her husband who is a pastor. She plans on going to the prisons in North Kansas City to motivate and pray with female inmates. Phillip also wants to plan trips to Africa and Mexico to visit missionary families. Although Phillips is excited for retirement she will miss teaching the students at South.

Counselor Mary Kenaday has been a counselor at South for 14 years. Kenaday’s favorite memory was the David Cook performance on South’s football field. Her plans for retirement is spending time with her grandchildren, bicycling, and kayaking some of her favorite activities. Kenady plans to take some time off and just enjoy life.

Kenady will miss the people of South.

“I will miss the great staff of South and the students, a combination of both,” Kenady said.

Assistant Football coach and in school suspension teacher Kelly Groom will also be retiring this year. He had been working at South for 20 years and has been teaching for 34 years. Groom’s favorite memory was the three State Championships in football. Groom will miss the daily interaction with the students.

“I will miss the daily interaction with the kids. You are in this business because you enjoy working with young people,” Groom said.

His plans for retirement are taking a year off to relax and re-evaluate. Groom plans to spend more time watching his daughter play soccer around the country and travel.

Receptionist Karen Sturges has been working at South for 18 years. Sturges has a lot of favorite memories working at South and most of them involve students. Her plans for retirement is to spend more time with her daughter and her mother. Sturges also wants to travel and renovate her house. The thing Sturges will miss most about South is the staff and students.

“I am going to miss the people, that is the part that puts a lump in my throat. As much as I know retirement is okay for me I am gonna miss the people,” Sturges said.

South will be saying goodbyes to some memorable staff members. Their contribution to South and their teachings to the students will forever be remembered and missed.

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Four South Staff members are set to retire