Spending retirement with grandchild, Croatt promises to continuing teaching

True teacher life: 

14 years of teaching

24 years of nursing

taught at Cedar Falls High School for one year

taught at Malcolm Price Lab for one year

taught at New Hampton High School for 12 years

new career plan: becoming a “granny nanny”

After 14 years of teaching and 24 years of nursing, special education teacher Susan Croatt will retire after this year. Although this is the only year she has taught at CFHS, she will leave a positive mark on the school. “She made a huge impact in a very short amount of time,” Student Services Coordinator Dr. Tracy Johns said.

Croatt plans to use her retirement to spend time taking care of her young granddaughter. “I’m going to be a granny nanny. I’m going to stay home and care for my six-month-old granddaughter,” Croatt said.

“I greatly appreciate her contribution and know that she’ll enjoy her time with her new grandchild,” Principal Dr. Rich Powers said.

Although she will no longer teach at a school, Croatt plans to redirect her educational skills to further her granddaughter’s development. “Just because you retire doesn’t mean you stop teaching because I plan to read a lot of books with my granddaughter, work on physical activities, travel around the community and just enjoy her,” Croatt said. “I have really enjoyed my time here. The students are great and the staff and administration have been very supportive and friendly,” Croatt said.

Before this year, Croatt taught for one year at Price Lab and 12 years at New Hampton High School. “I was a special education teacher at the high school in New Hampton and then at Price Lab I was a middle school special education teacher,” Croatt said.

She believes her interest in teaching special education stemmed from her nursing career. “I was working as a nurse in a facility that served people with disabilities and the entire staff had to do programming and I really enjoyed that aspect of the work,” Croatt said.

“We were working on things like counting money, personal care, feeding themselves and some of the residents with more severe disabilities had programs that involved making eye contact, putting their heads up and other skills like that,” Croatt said.

Croatt finds getting to know the students is an important part of teaching. “I think it’s important that teachers get to know their students and develop relationships with their students. If the student is comfortable with you, you can get them to do about anything,” Croatt said.

“We will greatly miss her kindness and thoughtful approach with students,” Powers said.

“The thing I’m going to miss the most is working with the students. I’m going to miss their humor and their perspective on life,” Croatt said. “This has been a great teaching experience for me. I know I’m going to miss the staff and students,” Croatt said.

Although no one could truly replace Croatt, someone else does need to fill the job. “We’re looking for Sue Croatt. No, we’re looking for someone who has a passion with working with kids, we’re looking for someone who has expertise and someone who is excited to join the team at Cedar Falls High School,” Johns said. They hope to find a replacement in the next two to three weeks.


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