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Hartford preschool teacher and aide retire after decades in the classroom

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HARTFORD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Teaching during a pandemic makes things quite a bit different for Deb Kolbow at Peace Lutheran Preschool in Hartford.

“We miss the kids and the hustle and bustle and we miss the noise,” said Kolbow.

First came the COVID-19 outbreak. Soon, retirement will follow.

“I have been teaching here at Peace 32 years, a long time. I started when I was young,” said Kolbow.

And this retirement is two-fold. Kolbow’s assistant, Brenda Anderson, is retiring too.

“Mrs. Anderson has been my teacher’s aide for 20 years… She knows what I’m going to say and do before I say and do it,” said Kolbow.

The two have watched students grow up and grow their own families.

“It’s almost mind-boggling. I don’t feel that old!” Kolbow said.

Even with a quiet classroom and online learning, Kolbow said she has faith.

“This is not something that’s not going to end. It’ll end. They’ll see me again… They’ll see Mrs. Anderson again,” said Kolbow.

She just didn’t expect to see them so soon during a drive-by surprise parade at Peace Lutheran Church last week. Students, both past and present, showed up for the sendoff.

It certainly was not how they expected to end their careers. But not even a global pandemic can take away a lifetime of learning and love.

“I’m going to leave with a lot of happy memories here so I’ll take that with me,” said Kolbow.


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