The Healdsburg School Board of Trustees honored Healdsburg Unified School District (HUSD) retirees on May 19 during their regular school board meeting.
This year’s district retirees include Healdsburg High School Principal Bill Halliday, Healdsburg Elementary School and Fitch Mountain Campus reading intervention teacher Sandi Mazza and Healdsburg Junior High School speech therapist Maureen Rauch.
While the school board couldn’t honor the trio in person, HUSD district staff shared kind words about each individual in order to recognize them for their years of service to the district.
Mazza retired in January. She joined the district in 2015 as a reading intervention teacher at Healdsburg Elementary and at Fitch Mountain.
“She has been an integral part in providing reading support services. She has a heart for increasing student engagement through fostering a love for reading. One of things I honor and remember about Sandi is that she had a deep belief that all kids could and should have a deep love for reading no matter how challenging reading might be for them,” said Erin Fender, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction.
According to Fender, Mazza created an inviting space in her classroom where students could choose books and have a comfortable space to read.
Mazza provided small group and one on one reading interventions and collaborated with elementary grade level leaders.
“And she was quite good at collecting data to inform instruction. We wish Sandi the best in retirement,” Fender said.
Rauch started with the district in 2000 and has served as a speech therapist since then.
“I can’t say enough about Maureen, I’m really going to miss her. She’s just got a knack with families and students and she is so giving. She’s really hard to replace, she’ll be missed and she’s been such a tremendous asset to the district,” said Diane Conger, the district’s director of student support services.
Halliday came to the district in 2012 and started out part time at Fitch Mountain in student services. He later became the principal at Healdsburg Junior High School. In 2017, Halliday became the Healdsburg High School principal.
“The thing I think that staff and students unanimously say about Bill is that he really genuinely cares about everybody. He is somebody who has amazing relationships. I can tell you as an educator, as a superintendent watching him work with our kids and our staff and the way that he can make somebody feel heard and valued is amazing,” said HUSD Superintendent Chris Vanden Heuvel.
Vanden Heuvel said Halliday will most certainly be missed.
“As a parent, how you’ve cared for the kids in this community has meant the world,” Vanden Heuvel said.
According to Vanden Heuvel, Halliday has big retirement plans, including white water rafting down the Grand Canyon.
“The best decision I ever made in my professional career was to join the Healdsburg Unified School District. I’ve never regretted that decision and it has been a wonderful experience working with everybody in the community and I will miss it greatly,” Halliday said.