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Hugging and high-fiving holiday send-off PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 27 December 2017 18:46

Entire school was in on Peterson’s retirement celebration, except for the longtime secretary herself

Laurie Peterson said she loves the children and teachers at Cedar Grove-Belgium Elementary School.
On her final day as secretary last Friday, she got a chance to personally say goodbye to each one.
Students and staff lined the halls. Principal Jeff Kondrakiewicz led Peterson to her surprise party. High fives, hugs and wet eyes ensued as she made her way through the school.
Peterson said she could barely get through the walk without shedding a tear.
“I just love it,” she said of working at the school. “The kids are so great. The teachers are my friends.”
The celebration culminated in the gym, where Santa Claus, played by Peterson’s brother Dave Heuver, surprised her with a few gifts from his sack.
Peterson had been with the district for nearly 34 years. She spent one year at the district office and the rest at the elementary school. All three of her children attended district schools, and now her grandchildren are coming through.
Peterson was Kondrakiewicz’s first secretary when he became a principal three years ago. He was in fourth grade when she started her career.
“She’s taken care of a lot of principals,” he said. “She’s kept the school in the right direction.”
Kondrakiewicz said he was thankful to have a longtime knowledgeable secretary.
“When you have a steady force like her, it helps with consistency,” he said. “It’s not to be underestimated.”
Students ended the assembly by singing a modified Christmas song, “We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy retirement.”
Peterson said she will spend time up north with her husband at their cabin and likely come back to the school in spring as an aide.

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