Surprise Retirement Party

Surprise Retirement Party
Posted on 06/01/2021
Retiring Teachers

By Mark Dittmar

“Surprise!”

On May 15th, Principal Christopher Jackson’s scheduled “business meeting” actually turned out to be a surprise retirement party for long time Mountain View teachers, Mrs. Michele Titcomb, Ms. Tracy Hall, and Mrs. Lynn Dittmar. Collectively the three retirees have taught at MV for over half a century.

Mrs. Titcomb taught in Nogales for five years before moving to District 35 in 1996, where for the last 25 years she has been a middle school and elementary school teacher and Mountain View’s Instructional Coach. An exceptional teacher and mentor, Mrs. Titcomb may best be remembered for her proficiency in the Kegan approach, Project Success, and tailoring her instruction to her students’ individual learning styles.

“Michele has been instrumental in shaping and impacting the instructional program at Mountain View since I became principal,” said Mr. Christopher R. Jackson. “Her insight, wisdom, and focus on what is best for kids and their learning has helped to guide all that we do here.”

Third Grade teacher, Mrs. Jolanne Palumbo echoed his remarks. “Mrs. Titcomb is the kind of teacher that inspires you to want to learn, not just do work. She has been a lifelong role model and she had a great influence in my desire to become a teacher.”

Ms. Tracy Hall has taught Grade 5 at Mountain View for 12 years and served as her grade’s team leader for nearly as long. A creative teacher, Ms. Hall is also a talented photographer. For the past 25 summers she has taken part in The Community of Writers conference (the organization co-founded by her father, award winning novelist and screenwriter, Mr. Oakley Hall).

“Tracy's calm disposition, genuine care for her students, and literary background have helped make our 5th grade team tremendous,” said Principal Jackson. Her co-worker, Mrs. Luisa Rodriguez agreed. "Tracy is a great asset to our school and a great colleague. She’s very knowledgeable and works well with others.”

Spending time with her children and grandchildren during retirement is on Ms. Hall’s agenda.

After teaching overseas for three decades, Mrs. Lynn Dittmar brought her teaching skills home in 2005 when she joined District 35 as a Reading Interventionist, and later as a 1st grade and 2nd grade teacher. For the last 15 years, she has shared her love of language arts and social studies with her students. “Lynn is exceptional with small group instruction,” said Instructional Coach, Michele Titcomb. “Yes, and she’s also very good at extending lessons,” added Second Grade Team Leader, Mrs. Julianne West.