Courtesy Photo

Superintendent Esmay to Retire

1. This is your last year as superintendent before retirement. How do you feel about retiring? Mixed emotions, but looking forward to the next chapter. I will miss the staff and students, but know that great things are coming for the district.
2. What is your history with Jones County School District? My history begins with all four of our children attending school and graduating from here. I too graduated from Murdo High School in 1978. I began as a substitute teacher in 1990-91 school year and then as Special Education teacher in 2000-2001. One year I taught 4th grade reading when we were short staffed and another year 8th grade Social Studies, along with my regular special education duties. During the 2012-14 school years I was the special ed teacher, special ed director, and K-6 principal. I was also attending school to get my Masters in Administration. 2014-15 school year I became the Superintendent, Sped Director, and Principal. I began classes at USF to obtain my Specialist Degree to be a Superintendent. I end my career as Superintendent, Sped Director, Science teacher and K-12 Principal with a grateful heart that the school board had faith in me to do this job.
3. What will you miss the most? Working with staff and offering advice, hugs from the students, counseling with students, being a problem solver, and learning something new every day. I have tried over the years to be a role model in hopes that staff and students would learn from watching. I greet every student when they enter the building and when they exit the building at the end of the school day. Every student will now answer back with a “good morning”, because if they don’t I stop and ask if everything is OK. Everyone here knows the number one thing I preach is to be kind to one another. I also love visiting with parents and helping to solve any problems or concerns they may have had. I will miss scheduling, data retreats, and trying to decide on a late start or no school. I will truly miss helping people be successful, whether in their education or socially and emotionally. I come to school early and I love the early morning visits with staff and students, I will miss that. 
4. Any favorite memories of your time at JC School that you’d like to share? I had so much fun teaching Science this year, the kids were rock stars. I love dressing up and being weird with the kids. I remember one year I was dressed as a clown and Mr. Knispel called me into his office to visit with a parent, it was tough to be serious with a clown nose, wig and clown shoes on! There were many challenges over the years, but way more successes than failures, and I learned from each one. Building a new elementary was a challenge and rewarding at the same time. The staff here are truly outstanding and care deeply about the students. When COVID hit in March 2020 these teachers stepped up and overnight learned how to teach remotely.
5. What are your plans with the time you are gaining through retirement? Excited that I will be doing the same thing I was doing 30 years ago, helping manage the swimming pool and being a substitute teacher.
6. Who will be replacing you? Do you have any parting advice for him? Mr. David Colberg will be taking over as Superintendent and Principal. As far as advice, blame it on the old superintendent!

The Pioneer Review

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Philip, SD 57567
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