Seven retirees have 154 years service to Mansfield City Schools

Leslie Watts, left, and Rhonda Berry, executive assistant payroll account clerks in the treasurer’s office at the Raemelton administration building, will retire June 30.

      Mansfield City Schools will lose 65 years of combined experience on June 30 when two members of the treasurer’s office retire.

      Leslie Watts, 34 years in the district, and Rhonda Berry, 31 years, leave as executive assistant account clerks responsible for payroll.

      “Working at the central office was always enjoyable. I have worked with many wonderful people,” Watts said. 

      Berry pointed to another positive.

      “I think a lot of people don’t understand all of the detailed work that is involved in what the treasurer’s office does, but on the upside, we have made many lasting friendships,” she said.

      Berry, who began work on Oct. 9, 1989, is looking forward to training her new standard poodle puppy. An Ohio certified volunteer naturalist, she also plans to continue volunteer work in nature center programs.

      “And I wouldn’t mind working in circulation at the library,” she said.

      Watts began work in the district on Sept. 8, 1986, first as an aide in the adult vocation education program, then as an aide and switchboard receptionist in central office. Her tenure in the treasurer’s office began in 1988.

      Ironically, Watts has worked in the same room at Raemelton that was her sixth-grade classroom when the building was an elementary school.

      Watts plans to continue her part-time work at Alta Florist and Greenhouse, but she has another retirement priority.

      “Some ‘me time’,” she said.

      Both Watts and Berry have high praise for Beth Rutledge and Nicole Horton, their payroll successors in the treasurer’s office.

      “The district is lucky to have both of them,” Berry said. “They understand technology and have learned fast. They will do a great job.”

      Five other district employees are retiring this summer.

      Karen Edwards leaves after 33 years of service to the food service department. Hired in 1987, she worked at Simpson Middle School and Malabar Middle School before moving to Mansfield Senior High in 2007.

      Food service manager Lauren Moran praised Edwards’ commitment.

      “Karen has been an asset to Mansfield City Schools since the start of her career more than 30 years ago,” Moran said. “Her dedication to the students was apparent in her work each and every day. We are all really going to miss her.”

      Kathleen Heilman retires with 22 years of service to Mansfield City Schools and 25 years total in education. Hired as a district SLD tutor in 1998, she has served as a Spanish and English teacher at Mansfield Senior High and Mansfield Middle School since 2004

      "I have spent the last 22 years as a Tyger. If I have taught as much as I have learned, my time here has been successful," Heilman said. "Although I am retiring, my heart stll beats brown and orange. I care a great deal about the system and want the best for all involved. To that end, I encourage every part of the school team to be humble, to think the best of others, to communicate clearly and often, and to work diligently for the good of all. Then the sky's the limit for this school district."

          Pamela Ashley-Minck leaves after 21 years as a paraprofessional in the district. She served at Springmill Elementary and Sherman Elementary before moving to Malabar Intermediate in 2010.

      Terri Benson has one year of service to the district as a pre-kindergarten paraprofessional at Springmill STEM Elementary.

      Larry Gibbs, employed through Mid-Ohio ESC, retires after 12 years as Mansfield City Schools’ public relations coordinator. Gibbs, who began work in the district on June 9, 2008, previously worked as a newspaper editor for 30 years. He also managed the congressional district office of U.S. Rep. John T. Myers in his native Indiana before moving to Ohio in 1987.

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