Diethart modeled care, enthusiasm
Posted on: Jul 1, 2019
For the past 11 years, Ginger Diethart has helped scuffling students find their footing at Delano Elementary School.
First as a Title 1 Basic Skills teacher, then as the Alternative Delivery of Specialized Instructional Services (ADSIS) Reading Interventionist, Diethart excelled in reaching those who needed an educational boost. Now she is retiring after 23 years as a teacher, including a dozen years in Florida, where she lived before returning home to Minnesota.
“Ginger has been a steadfast professional,” said DES Basic Skills teacher Lisa Downer. “She passionately worked with struggling students until they succeeded. Her work ethic was admirable. She was not only a great encourager to her students, but to her colleagues as well.”
From IT to teaching
Diethart grew up in St. Cloud, graduating from Apollo High School, before originally embarking on a career in information technology. For some time she was an IT manager, focused programming and analysis, but eventually she decided to switch gears to teaching. Why?
“Because I am a people-person,” said Diethart. “That was my favorite part of the computer job, when I got to teach people how to use the new programs and things like that. I also had teacher friends who were always telling me I would be a good teacher and encouraging me to go into teaching. So I gave it a whirl, and I really did like it. I’m really glad I made that decision. It is so fulfilling to me, and so rewarding to help children learn to read. That’s my passion. I’ll miss that part of it quite a bit.”
After moving to Florida in 1996, Diethart went back to school for her education degree, then worked at three different schools around the Tampa Bay area. She served as a conventional classroom teacher and as a reading-math resource teacher for students in grades one through seven.
Coming to Delano
Eventually, Diethart and her husband, also a Minnesota native, decided to return to their home state. As luck would have it, their friends Al and Cindy Briesemeister, both Delano teachers, had just signed a contract to do international teaching and were looking for renters to occupy their home during that time. The Dietharts moved in and Ginger was hired on at Delano Elementary in 2008 as a Title 1 Basic Skills teacher and to help English language learners.
Since then, Diethart has enjoyed being a difference-maker in the educational lives of her students. The goal of the ADSIS program is to improve academic and/or behavioral outcomes for students within general education and reduce referrals to special education.
“Being able to teach kids to read and seeing that lightbulb go on, that’s the highlight for me,” Diethart said. “When kids come in and tell me, ‘I love reading now,’ that just does my heart so much good.”
Other staff members said Diethart’s commitment to her students’ success was evident.
“Ginger is an extremely dedicated, caring teacher,” said fellow ADSIS teacher Melissa Assels, who pointed to the Coborn’s Math Night as one of the creative ways Diethart connected students to real-world learning. “She loves her students and teaches with enthusiasm.”
In addition to the students, Diethart said the camaraderie of the teaching staff was another highlight of her career.
“The teachers I’ve worked with through the years have been awesome,” she said. “It’s just such a great group of people. The teachers really support each other in every way.”
Assels said Diethart played a role in creating that cohesive atmosphere.
“Ginger has also been a wonderful colleague and mentor,” she said. “I started teaching here at Delano Elementary School last year and Ginger was very helpful and taught me a lot!”
In retirement, Diethart said she plans to travel more, and a move to the southwestern United States may be on the horizon.
“My daughter lives in southern California and we want to get closer to her,” Diethart said.
Her friends and colleagues were grateful for the opportunity to work with Diethart and wished her well in the next chapter of life.
“I will miss her here at DES,” said Downer, “but I believe she has some well-deserved and exciting things ahead!”
Post Categories: Elementary School