Sahuaro Says Goodbye To Six Staff Members

Sahuaro Says Goodbye To Six Staff Members

Connor Fries, News Editor

This year six staff members have announced their departure from Sahuaro: Social Studies teacher Mr. Kornmuller, English teacher Mrs. Bouchard, CTE teacher Ms. Depugh, Librarian Mrs. Dillon, CTE teacher and Yearbook sponsor Mr. Halfmann, and Exceptional Ed teacher Mr. Goitia. While Sahuaro will miss them greatly, we will always remember them for the many years of service they spent being a part of  the Sahuaro family.

Mr. Kornmuller

For the past 16 years, Mr. Kornmuller has been a longtime favorite among his students for his storytelling prowess and entertaining persona. When asked about what he was looking forward to do in his retirement, aside from traveling to Europe, especially the many places he’s taught about, Mr. Kornmuller said that he actually wants another job. “Mowing a golf course would be my dream job” he joked. Of course, Mr. Kornmuller had a crazy story to share from his 30 years of being in the classroom. “We once had a power outage at Utterback Middle School, and kids were running around and attacking each other, it was complete chaos.”

While Mr. Kornmuller is excited to partake in new endeavors, he will miss being at Sahuaro. “One of the best parts of teaching is getting to know all the students.” He also added, “I’ll miss the social studies department here greatly.”


Mrs. Bouchard

English teacher, Mrs. Bouchard, had been a part of the Sahuaro family for 6 years of her 17 years of teaching. Even though she’s retiring, Mrs. Bouchard stated that she plans on volunteering as a librarian at an elementary school. When she’s not volunteering, she wants to finally pick up knitting and crocheting, and refining some of her many hobbies. “I will continue to travel with Ms. Lange.  We are going to Ecuador this summer and Italy and Greece in 2019. My husband and I will continue our travels; camping in the summer and snow skiing in the winter. Hiking Sedona in the fall. I hope to become more proficient with my bike riding so I can keep up with my husband’s 19 mile an hour rides.”

Looking back on her time as a teacher and the time she spent at Sahuaro, Ms. Bouchard commented, “I will miss my colleagues. I have made some great friends here at Sahuaro.” She also recalled some of her fondest memories from the classroom, “I don’t really have a crazy classroom memory, but I did enjoy the years my youngest son, Scott was going to Pueblo during the time I was teaching there. I have always enjoyed my students’ reactions to the great books we’ve read throughout the years, especially this year with some of my seniors telling me that Desert Blood was the best book they read in high school.” Sounds like she will be keeping herself busy – we wish her a wonderful time!


Ms. Depugh

Ms. Depugh, a 2008 Sahuaro graduate, has been working alongside her mother as a teacher for the past 5 years here at Sahuaro. Ms. Depugh isn’t retiring, but instead leaving for a new job in Virginia. While at her new job, she’s excited to continue her professional development by creating new lessons and projects for a entirely new curriculum, and explore the east coast.

Ms. Depugh shared some of the things she will miss most about Sahuaro, as well as her favorite memory from the classroom. “I will miss being able to teach at the same school as my mom and will greatly miss the Sahuaro community.” She also added, “One of the funniest memories I have from the classroom was last year when we were doing a review game in one of my freshmen classes. I had Pandora radio on for the game and a song from Moana came on.  All the students paused the game and were singing along to the song.”


Mrs. Dillon

Our devoted librarian has been working at Sahuaro for 13 years and teaching for 28 has decided to retire. Her tireless work in our library, from hosting Love of Reading Week, to helping students in any way she could, and much, much more will always be remembered by many students and staff. I asked Mrs. Dillon some questions reflecting on her teaching career and what she’s looking forward to in her retirement. Mrs. Dillon commented on what she plans on doing with all her new free time. “Waking up and deciding what I want to do each day. Hiking the Arizona Trail in segments, planting a cactus garden, cycling with friends, spending time with family, home projects that have been on hold for years.  My list is long – will need to live ‘til 110 to do it all!” She also added that she hopes to travel to “The Camino de Santiago” in Spain and pick up salsa dancing.

When reflecting on her 28 year teaching career, she picked out a couple of her craziest memories in the classroom like, “When the sewer backed up into the library, also when we had wasps in the library and a young lady sat on one and someone else broke a window swatting at one.” Even though her time at Sahauro is coming to an end, Mrs. Dillon shared what she will miss the most from her time here. “Without a doubt: the kids!  I’ve met and known SO many amazing students over the years… they’ve brightened my days!”

Mr. Halfmann

Sahuaro’s yearbook sponsor and long time photography teacher for 18 years, announced his retirement earlier this year. Mr. Halfmann couldn’t recall his craziest memory in the classroom from his 25 years of teaching, but instead commented on what he plans to do in his retirement. “Going out and exploring and taking pictures for myself. It’s giving me an opportunity for me to take care of my wife instead of her taking care of me.” He also added that he will be moving to Virginia and hopes to do more woodworking and gardening. Mr. Halfmann, even though he’s excited about his retirement, and things to come, said that he’ll miss his students because, “being around young people, keeps me young.”


Mr. Goitia

Like Ms. Depugh, Mr. Goitia isn’t retiring, but instead leaving to go work at Catalina High School. Mr. Goitia, started his teaching career at Sahuaro in 2012, and has been a part of the Cougar family ever since. Even with his departure to Catalina, Mr. Goitia stated that his favorite memory in the classroom was simply all the fun times and laughs with his students and he will greatly miss all the people he’s met while working at Sahuaro, “who have become extended family to me.” Since Mr. Goitia will still be teaching, he won’t have much extra free time but still wishes to find more time for some of his many home projects.

All these staff members have made a tremendous impact on Sahuaro, on both students and staff alike. We will miss them all greatly, and we wish them success and happiness in any of their future endeavors!