Familiar faces saying goodbye

Retiring school district employees have a combined 63 years of service

By Per Peterson

Change is a constant with every new school year, but this fall, that change will be more evident than ever at both of Tracy’s public schools.

The end of the current school year will mark the culmination of the careers of three long-time District No. 2904 employees — Cindy Rokeh at Tracy Area Elementary School, and Janice Hern and Jeanette Lerohl at Tracy Area High School.

The trio is retiring after this school year — Rokeh and Hern after 13 years each in Tracy, and Lerohl after 37 years in the business office of the high school.

Cindy Rokeh, TAES secretary

Rokeh has been working with schools for 38 years — 25 years in Balaton and the last 13 in Tracy. She came to Tracy after the two schools consolidated in 2009. Her career as elementary secretary began in July 1984 when she applied for the Balaton Elementary secretary position and was interviewed by Principal Roland Dobberstein and Balaton Superintendent LeRoy Domagala.

“Mr. Dobberstein asked if I could type — I replied, ‘Yes, very well,’” Rokeh recalls. “Next, Mr. Domagala asked if I could file and I replied ‘yes,’ even though I didn’t like to file.  The final question Mr. Dobberstein asked me was ‘Can you get along with people, because that is a big part of your job.’ I replied, ‘I hope so,’ so I was hired for $3.50 an hour.”

Rokeh remembers how much of a change it was for both the Balaton students and staff coming over to Tracy.

“It was an adjustment for Balaton staff that came over and the Balaton students, as well as for the Tracy staff and students,” she said. “But we made it! I do feel old when I had students in Balaton that are now grandparents to  students here in Tracy.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.