S: W e s t H i l l s E l e m e n t a r y
1: We will miss you Laurie...
3: My dear sweet friend, you are outstanding in every way. You have been there for me both personally and professionally. You were there when I lost my dad, and when my mom was so sick. I will never forget your kind words and support, and god knows I was a basket case...thank you Laurie. And professionally...admiration comes to mind! I have been fortunate to have worked along side you for many years, and girl I have yet to meet anyone with your liveliness and energy. When we first met I wondered if you were picking through your husband's evidence bag and spiking your coffee. One morning I remember hearing you introduce a lesson...I thought what a great way to present that concept...I asked the students to be real quiet and to listen to Mrs. Pendergast. You have taught me more than you know, and your passion and dedication to kids and this profession are remarkable...thank you Laurie. I wish you all the very best, and I will miss you more than you can imagine. Enjoy every minute of your new journey! | Mary-Anne Craig
5: Laurie, You will be missed. We have been together though good times and hard times and I will miss your advice and passion for life. I have so much admiration for your skill as an educator. You never give up on a student and have touched and changed the lives of many. As a parent, I am grateful to you for giving Katie confidence in her ability to learn. You always understood just what she needed and were able to inspire her to reach for the next level. I wish you much happiness in this next step of your journey through life. Love, Connie
7: Sweet, sweet Laurie!!! I have such fond memories of you, but what I remember the most is your goodness and dedication to the profession!!! Your joyous laugh, warm smile, and caring concern for your students and your peers has been unwavering throughout the years. You are the consummate cheerleader, and a great example of one who does what is right even if no one else will fight the battle. I admire your courage and integrity, Laurie! I remember walking picket lines with you over 20 years ago!!! How far we have come!! Most recently, your advocacy for your fellow teachers has been heartwarming and invaluable, and a tribute to your professionalism. As I recall nearly every event that has happened throughout the years, whether it be a school event, a social event, a political action, levy phone calling, vertical teaming, BEA rep meetings, etc......you are ALWAYS there! So dependable, and such an enthusiastic, creative, dedicated professional. YOU have made a difference in so many kids and teammates' lives!!!! We love you dearly and will miss you more than you know!! BUT...you have earned a WONDERFUL retirement and I am betting that once you get used to actually being ABLE TO BREATHE AGAIN...you'll find pure delight in new and exciting ventures. Much JOY to you, my friend!!! xoxoxo, Tina Mahaney
8: Dear Laurie, As you start this new and exciting phase of your life remember that you have earned this special time to experience new adventures, time to relax, to read, to enjoy family and friends. You have given teaching many wonderful years. You have been an inspiration to so many children and fellow teachers. You will be missed. But this is your time to have fun! Retirement is great! Your retired colleague, Jean Connolly
9: Laurie, It has been so great working and teaming with you this year. I love your outgoing personality and your ability to bring humor to difficult days. I am going to miss you at West Hills, but I am excited for you to experience the many adventures you have been waiting for. You are always welcome to come to my classroom if you are missing the kids. Best wishes, now the fun begins!!! Liza Piper
10: Laurie, I will miss having you around. You were always very kind and welcoming. Enjoy your retirement. Roberto 'Bob'
11: Laurie, I can't believe you are going to take that big giant step to your future. Just think you're in the process of starting over again. You have been a great inspiration to all of us that work in education. I will miss being your human spell-checker! The best of luck always, Barb Nesper
13: Laurie, I know your decision to retire has not been easy. I feel so fortunate to have worked with you all of these years. One of the things I admire most about you is your ability to engage your students and share the excitement of new learning with them (you have a very expressive face, you know!) It is evident in all you do how much you really care about each and every student. I see it in your deep concern about students who are struggling, your elation over their successes, the way you take time to greet and say good-bye every day to each student, and your past students who seek you out at the end of the day for their hug. You will be greatly missed by all of us here at West Hills STEM. Stay in touch (come sub for me!) Enjoy Europe, and think of me next winter when you get to hit the slopes mid-week. Your Friend, Chris
14: Laurie, It has been a pleasure to have worked with you these past 16 years. I so admire your dedication, goodness and honesty. You say what you mean and with conviction. Your love for teaching shines through. I hope you take time in retirement to enjoy other things in life as much as you have enjoyed teaching. Congratulations on retirement and best of luck. I will have to keep tabs on you from Gaylene when I get my hair cut. | Mary Anne Cleveland
15: Home is where there's someone to love, and someone to love us.
16: Irish Retirement Blessing May you always have work for your hands to do. May your pockets hold always a coin or two. May the sun shine bright on your windowpane. May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain, May the hand of a friend always be near you. And May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
17: Dear Laurie, It has been a pleasure to work with you. If you run out of home improvement projects give me a call! Debbie Langford
18: My fondest memory is spending time with you during our many trips together south to Portland and Vancouver during the days of the Teldec Grant. Sometimes you drove, sometimes I drove. Those road trips were fun. We always shared a room. I remember one morning in the hotel restaurant, you ordered a side of, "red potatoes" for breakfast along with some other breakfast food. I know you love to eat a big breakfast. It's one of your "claim to fame" things to do. Afterwards we learned how to use computers together. Some of the other Teldec people were more advanced in computer skills, but we kept plugging along. You made all our trips fun. I really enjoyed spending time with you and getting to know you better. Natalie Poss
19: I still think the best part of your Retirement Master Plan, was how you managed to get a new car the same year you retire! Congrats, keep in touch, and don't leave your phone number with anybody cuz we will pester you to death. Kent Soule
20: Remember When, Your room looked like a jungle with the big tree in the middle and everything hanging down? I knew then that I would like you! Remember When, You left the room to take a quick break, and upon returning someone shouted out, "Shut up, the teacher is coming!" and we weren't sure if we should laugh or cry because it was the student that was so traumatized that he hadn't been speaking. Remember When, The chair started smoldering during class? I think the bread in the light molded first. Remember When, The book started burning and we watched it on the large screen crumple to ashes? I think it was done. Remember When, We learned everything we could about American Indians? That was the best year ever!!!
21: Remember When, The students would read and we would conference with them about what they really liked about the book? Those kids developed a love of reading. Remember When, You could have the best ideas ever, and I would make sure we had the supplies to complete the tasks. Remember When, You attended one of your student's weddings and cried knowing she loved you as a teacher and friend. I cried too. I will truly miss those gems of teaching opportunities we shared. You are one of the most generous, outstanding teaching professionals I have had the privilege to know. Have a wonderful retirement, you deserve it. Love always, Wilma Queen
23: Laurie, You are truly one in a million. Before coming to West Hills I have numerous memories of working with you on district level teams. Even back then I remember being drawn to you. I also remember trying to talk you into coming to work with me....more than one time. I know you laughed it off and I hope you took it for what it was....not only the truth but a compliment. I was/am drawn to you because of who you are as a person as much as who you are as an educator. It has been the greatest privilege and honor to be able to observe you teach over the last 3 years. Your instruction exceeds what I was expecting, on every level. To know you is to honor your commitment to teaching and learning. The best part of my job is being able to be in classrooms, watch fabulous teachers teach and see students learn as a result of their work. Laurie...I could be in your classroom all day, every day and walk out happy....every time. Lisa Heaman
24: Congratulations Laurie Enjoy your time to read a good book or reupholster a new chair. Always remember those first day jitters, accomplishment when a student understands a new skill, and relief when all the report cards are completed. Above all, enjoy friends, family, and fun. Stephanie Devey
25: I wish you... | sunshine | an endless summer break.... | time to relax and imagine... | And nothing but....great times! | Amy Archuleta
27: You have amazing energy! I remember how you told us that you had so many ideas, you had to get out of the shower to write them down before you forgot. Well now use that energy to list all the fun things you will be able to do with your new time. Enjoy! Stephanie Tubberville
29: Laurie, What I remember most is your advocacy for Noah. When he first came to West Hills, he was so behind in reading and writing. With such care, the staff there helped him to not only catch up, but supersede my expectations. Finally the time came for him to move up to his proper grade, skipping 5th. During a meeting, you stood firm on keeping Noah where he was because of how much work he had accomplished and you didn't want him to lose that. Only upon realizing that he was older by two grades did you relent. Now Noah is in his second year of college, writing eight-page essays all because of the time and effort and most importantly, care, that you and the other staff members have lavished upon him. Thank you for taking the time to make such a difference in one boys life.! Deann Irish
30: Laurie, you are one of those teachers that give it your all. You will truly be missed. I have enjoyed working with you. Enjoy your retirement, it's well deserved. Aloha, Mavis Hamrick
31: Laurie, I remember when I first started working at West Hills and I passed you in the hallway and you said "Hi Ami." I was so shocked that you knew my name, because I hadn't worked with you yet. That was just the beginning of the kindness I would see from you! I have enjoyed all of our interactions over the years. Your passion for teaching and your students will be missed. You always had a way of making sure we were thinking about the students! They benefited from you greatly! Enjoy your retirement and know that you will be missed! Ami Looker
33: Laurie, I will miss seeing you around. I will miss your stories, wit and humor, and most of all your inspiration. Enjoy the new adventure that awaits you! -Emily Thatcher
35: I don't know where to start; there's so much to say. As a kindergarten teacher, I was unaccustomed to having a partner with whom to share ideas. Laurie became more than that- she became a friend to laugh and cry with as well. I quickly forgot my qualms. She was a fun, enthusiastic and creative teacher. Even though I had taught nearly 30 years, she was able to spontaneously come up with and share amazing new ideas - like stitching up an actual Red Riding Hood cape to go with the story. (This I recently passed on to a delighted great granddaughter) Laurie had so much energy it was infectious. Parents and children alike adored her. I was sorry to see Laurie "move up". Marilyn (call me this summer)
37: I will miss you. Have fun with retirement. Val Sandell
38: I always appreciated Laurie’s interest in teaching and learning and her passionate commitment to continuous growth. Laurie, thank you for maintaining this enthusiasm for be a leading learner. Enjoy every moment of your first European Travel Adventure. Linda Jenkins
39: Laurie, I will always remember how well you taught math, science and reading to your entire class. Several years ago I had a student who was in your room -- he had a one-on-one (me). I saw students having so much fun. You had a way of teaching that kept them attentive at their levels of understanding and learning. Teachers like you are rare; the staff and I will miss your experience, compassion and the love you have for our kids. | Sharifa Marker
41: Congratulations, Laurie as your long, lustrous career comes to a close. You've been an educator that has contributed so much to the lives of the children, parents, and staff, that have been privileged to work with you. It has always been a pleasure to work with you. Your passion and dedication to children was obvious way back when we taught special ed. together and still is today. So, get out there and enjoy retirement. If you have any trouble figuring it out, give me a call and I'll show you how it's done, since I got a little head start on you.! I'm so excited for you! Explore, dream, discover, enjoy! Sandy Trudel
43: Laurie, you are one of those incredible teachers who is able to inspire your students with your own vibrant personality and your love of learning. I have worked with you at various times throughout your career at View Ridge and at West Hills. You have always impressed me...your joy of children and learning in general. And watching you pass that on to your class is wonderful to see. You will be missed! But I wish you a relaxing and FUN retirement. You deserves it, and we know that you will keep busy. Doing nothing is not your forte, and BSD is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers! Love you Laurie, have a great time in Europe! Julie Anderson
44: Hi Laurie, I was your long term sub when you were expecting your daughter and this was my first subbing experience. I thoroughly enjoyed being in your kindergarten classroom. You had everything so organized and the students were so prepared to learn. It was a fun experience and aided me in obtaining a full time position after this subbing experience. Many good memories for me and I wish you the best always. Marlene Tessier 5th grade @ AJ
45: Laurie, enjoy your travels and your retirement! You have been an inspiration to me and to so many other teachers. We look to you as a model for excellent teaching, integrity and compassion. You will be missed, but I am happy and excited for you and your future adventures. | Trude Winters
46: Laurie, I will certainly miss you! You are a wonderful, and fantastic teacher! I hope you will visit us at West Hills. Kathi Glitch
47: Don't Cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. Laurie, It has been wonderful working with you for the last 3 years. You will be missed. Enjoy your retirement. Love, Holly
49: Dear Mrs. Pendergast, Thank you! You are a great teacher. I still laugh when I remember the time the crayfish grabbed your finger and you threw it across the room. That year I talked my mom into letting me bring a crayfish home. A few weeks later we had a hundred baby crayfish! Mom was not happy. The best gift you gave me was an introduction to some of the books I will always love. Books like The Giver and Where the Red Fern grows are still on my bookshelf. You challenged me to read books that made me think and I discovered that I love to read. West Hills will not be the same without you! Katie Wheeler
51: Laurie, You and I only worked together at West Hills for the 2008-2009 school year, but I really enjoyed getting to know you that year. I’m sure many people share about how you are so dedicated to your students and it is certainly true. It is one of the first things I learned about you, however, there was another thing about working with you that has made an impact on me. It was our conversations. It probably sounds silly, but I really enjoyed them. We had a lot of conversations about good instructional practices and how to help students improve achievement. You have excellent insights into things that help students succeed. At times we may have had different viewpoints, although I don’t really think we were really all that far apart, but I liked our dialogue and being able to come to a consensus. There were times when the district would say one thing and you wouldn’t necessarily contradict it, but you would bring up important points that shouldn’t be forgotten. That’s what keeps things balanced. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I have never forgotten those conversations or what I learned from them, which is: it’s always worth the time to listen and learn from others and many times you will find that you’re really not that far apart. Korene Calderwood
53: Laurie, Remember the times we shared at the old Navy Yard City! Looking forward to having some fun and good times any month of the year!? Pack your suitcase and fly off on an adventure any day you want! Sounds like my kind of fun......we should plan something together! I will be doing the same thing next year! Enjoy your retirement.....you have worked hard for it! Joyce Connolly
54: Laurie, even back when we worked together at Navy Yard City you were an advocate for our students that struggled the most. I remember the long hours after school trying to problem solve. It was you that always found a way to help the student get to the next level! Linda Sullivan-Dudzic
55: Laurie, this is simply a description of the type of educator other educator's admire and are inspired by. It is true your students have learned from you, but so have your colleagues. Passionate Educator Noble Dedicated Enthusiastic Risk-taker Generous Ambitious Strong Talented | Kim Kinyon
57: Dear Laurie, I wish you a wonderful beginning of a new life filled with fun, family, and as much skiing and traveling as you want. I will miss you and have enjoyed being across the hall from you. I love you passion to help all students learn, you are a great teacher! Love, Valerie Custodio | Felice Pensionamento!!
58: Webster's meaning of retirement: Withdraw - or be removed, as from an occupation; go to bed! Barbara's meaning of retirement: Sleep in! Do, and go any where, any time I want. Laurie's meaning of retirement: ??? ...energizer bunny still going! Enjoy, have fun, play hard...and smile. Barbara Summers
59: Heather Read | I hope that when I retire I can say that I was even half the teacher that you have been. You are an inspiration to me and have inspired every one of your students.
61: Laurie, Hope that you enjoy retirement! It was great to meet you this year. You always greeted me with a warm smile, and such kindness. You will be missed. Enjoy doing things that you love!! Rachel Chamberlain
62: One cute story I have... Laurie submitted an original masterpiece into the West Hills Staff Art Show (aka Family Night). She submitted a framed piece of burnt toast. When students told her that wasn't art, she would use that as an opportunity for a great teaching moment. She would engage them in a conversation about what art is. I know these students looked at art differently after her discussion. Laurie, you made a big difference in many students' lives! Joyce Cowdery
63: How much fun was this?! | Founder’s Day celebration that honors Outstanding Educators and Golden Acorns (Outstanding Volunteers).
64: From the start | To the middle, you've touched lives everyday
65: Laurie, I wish that we could be real fairies and make all your dreams come true!!! May your retirement be filled with magic and fairy dust as you turn to a new chapter of your own story! Des Hall
67: Laurie, It has been so much fun working with you the last 6 years. Your passion for learning is something I admire greatly about you! BUT, I must say, my most fond memory of working with you had nothing to do with students. It was those silly after-school workouts with you, Connie and I.! I don't know that I've ever seen three grown women look quite so silly :) I'll miss you! Michelle Bowman
69: Laurie, I will always remember first meeting you and wondering who that person was with all the energy! It seemed to me that you were moving at the speed of light. The speed might have slowed a little over the years, but your passion for what you do never has. I greatly admire how devoted you are to what you do and how you never failed to speak your mind when you felt a child would benefit. Now is the time to put all that energy and passion into YOU. Read some books and drink some coffee, after all you don't have to get up in the mornings anymore!!! Gail
71: Dear Laurie, I sure enjoyed all the years that I taught with you at West Hills.all 17 of them, if you can believe it! You were an incredible teacher and I know that a vast number of children benefited from being in your class. I can remember you teaching fifth grade in room 17 when there were so many kids in the class that you could hardly get in the door without having to crawl over the desks. I know you are off to Europe this summer and you will enjoy every minute of it! Have the best of time and remember you don't have to go back to work in September! Love, Margie Steers
72: Laurie, I remember meeting you for the first time way back long ago at West Hills. You were a ball of fire. You were instantly very kind and welcoming to me. I was a brand new teacher and you were always very positive and loved sharing your ideas with me. You have worked so hard and done so much for kids and teachers. You deserve a spectacular retirement. Jenny Erickson
73: Dear Laurie, You are a star in your profession! Whatever is next - your energy and enthusiasm and commitment to quality will carry you on to star status there as well.. It has been an honor to work with you . Happy retirement days await you - go have fun!! Sincerely, Terese Edmonds
74: Dearest Laurie... I am so thrilled that you have this wonderful trip planned for the summer. You are so deserving of a summer in Europe with Rick...and your husband of course. Have the time of your life...Ride the canals of Amsterdam...In Germany enjoy the sheer beauty of Bavaria.... in Austria listen to Mozart and buy crystal...in Switzerland eat chocolate...in Italy eat EVERYTHING and in France make love.....how I envy you! Memories of my time working with you Laurie are among the most treasured moments of my teaching career. Planning the end of year program with you was such a blast. You were such a tremendous help....but gave me all the credit...that is the Pendergast way...when I first started to work with you I used to think..."Laurie relax for gods sake"....but then I realized that is who you are...that is the Laurie we all know and love...the Laurie that is never satisfied...who believes she can always make it better and somehow you manage to do just that...Your standards for good teaching surpass anything I could achieve but forced me to challenge myself and give it my all.....you never demanded...you simply inspired. I miss my time at West Hills everyday...What a joyful time that was in my life.....and you my dear where such a huge part of that....the children you taught will change this world because your kind of teaching is what inspires children to do just that...I love you girl....my door is open...my hear is open...and I am just waiting for you.... Love you...Marlene
75: Yea! No more pencils, no more books, (well there will probably be books) No more giving dirty looks! As we ride off into the sunset together, may I quote our favorite actor. "Happy trails to you 'til we meet again! I hope your retirement brings all the joys and and accomplishments that you have given others. Lanis Taylor
77: Spinelli!!! "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." (William Arthur Ward) What an inspiration you have been - not only to your students, but to your colleagues. Enjoy your retirement! Barbara Marty
79: We Love you!