47 years of letters from Mrs. Heiser
Teacher retiring after 47 year career
LAKE DELTON, Wis. — On Friday, when Delores Heiser retires as a third grade teacher at Lake Delton Elementary School, it will mark the end of a 47 year career. It will also mark the end of a 47 year tradition she established by writing a letter to every student at the end of the school year.
Each letter contained a personal message tailored to the student. The words were written by the hand and chosen by the heart.
“It just comes from my heart,” said Mrs. Heiser.
In this, Mrs. Heiser’s last year she is writing a letter to a third grader named Parker. In her first year of teaching, 47 years ago, she wrote a letter to Parker’s grandmother, Jenny Rodwell. In between, Parker’s mother, Danielle Rodwell, had Mrs. Heiser as a third grade teacher and got a letter too.
“I’ll always remember that she had taught me cursive writing and my own daughter learned that, and now my grandson,” said Jenny Rodwell. “I’m very proud that the three of us had Mrs. Heiser.”
The letters from Mrs. Heiser offered positive messages and encouraged the students to keep learning.
Many students kept their letter from Mrs. Heiser long after leaving the third grade.
“Every time I go to visit the elementary school, I go right to her and give her a hug and say, I miss you,” said Sylvia Skorusa, a Wisconsin Dells High School student who still has her letter from Mrs. Heiser.
As 47 years of letters comes to an end Mrs. Heiser has decided what her last message will be.
“A thank you, I will put it in the school newsletter. I will put in a thank you because that’s the best it is. It is a thank you,” said Mrs. Heiser. “And then the tears will be running down my face.”
Even though Mrs. Heiser is retiring at the end of the school year, she still plans to work as a substitute teacher at the school next year.
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