The Mount Shasta Union School District said goodbye to four teachers with a combined 136 years of experience as well as a longtime teachers assistant at the close of the school year on Friday.
Bob Causey, Mona Gutierrez, and Leslie Marconi retired, and Ute Micklos is moving on to become the art teacher at Yreka High School. Claris Solus, who worked as a TA for 29 years at both Mount Shasta Elementary School and Sisson, also retired.
Causey taught at MSE and Sisson for 29 years. For the last eight years he’s been teaching fourth grade at Sisson, emphasizing technology in his classes. His students became skillful with a variety of programs, and their work can be seen on the classroom website causeyclass4a.weebly.com
Causey enjoyed teaching his students how to create functional, artistic pottery pieces in the Sisson ceramics studio. His class held ceramics sales in the fall and spring in order to fund their projects, and their ceramic mission plaques were on display at Tri Counties Bank and Snow Creek Studios during the spring.
Causey moved to Mount Shasta with his wife, Patt, in 1988 from Davis, where they had both been teaching elementary school after earning their teaching credentials at UC Davis. Bob substitute taught for two years in the south county prior to taking over as a first grade teacher. He developed the first charter school in Siskiyou County which ran as a district-sponsored home school for three years.
Causey’s retirement plans include tennis, landscaping, relaxing with his wife, and welcoming their new Australian Shepard puppy home in July.
Rachel Wolmar will take Causey’s fourth grade spot at Sisson next year.
Mona Gutierrez, or “Mrs. G,” as many of her students call her, has been the Title I reading specialist at MSE since 2006.
“Teaching at MSE for the past 27 years has been a very rewarding career,” Gutierrez said. “The children, their families, and all of the staff members I have worked with have been really wonderful.”
She plans to read, knit, do needlework, and go to concerts and movies in her retirement. She’s looking forward to traveling in her new van with her husband, Chris Marrone. She’d also like to venture to Europe to visit her family’s origins in Spain and Italy.
“I look forward to returning to MSE as a classroom volunteer to get my kid fix,” Gutierrez said. “I will miss being with my students, but I know it’s time to pass the baton to the next generation of teachers,” she said.
Kristen Riccomini will be moving to take her Title I spot at MSE.
Leslie Marconi has taught for 38 years at Mount Shasta Elementary, as well as one year in McCloud. She taught mostly kindergarten and third grade, though she did teach seventh grade one year, and worked in the math lab.
“Lots of my years as a teacher were job sharing, which was a wonderful experience,” she said.
She plans to enjoy retirement while gardening and reading. She also plans to spend time with her grandson.
It is unknown who will take Marconi’s kindergarten position next year.
Micklos spent 28 years at Sisson School, teaching mainly sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Most recently, Micklos was the Title I reading specialist at Sisson. She has always incorporated art into the core subjects, and looks forward to teaching art full time. Earlier in her career, she was involved with the California Arts Project and was instrumental in bringing the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to Sisson.
“I’ve spent the past six years inspiring reluctant readers to become independent readers and to enjoy books and stories,” Micklos said.
Christy Reinig will take Micklos’ Title I spot next year.
Claris Solus spent her 29 years as a TA mostly at MSE, but she did work at Sisson briefly. She plans to enjoy gardening, fishing, and her grandchildren, as well as “finishing every project I have started in the last 30 years.”