Determan Retires and Leaves Dubuque Schools a Better Place
the District's Great Consience Providers Decides to go into
and Illustration by Gary Olsen
what it's worth, I've been to more than a few of these retirement
parties, and they are all special and each is unique, but one
thing many have in common is the humor and special brand of joking
that is often generated at these affairs. I have a theory about
that. We have to find laughs because they deflect our attention
from the loss and the ultimate void left when that person departs,
taking their experience with them. In Thom's case, however, he
leaves behind a remarkable legacy that has made our district what
it is in terms of culture, tolerance, safety, inclusion, and a
social studies curriculum that has created more outstanding citizens
than we'll ever be able to count. Thom Determan will surely be
missed, yet his house is a half a block from The Forum, and though
he's going to pursue his many consulting opportunities in earnest,
we are certain he will be available to consult with us from time
only been with the District for three years, one of my first friends
and colleagues was Thom Determan. Some of my best award-winning
projects he's had a hand in. His more than 30 years of experience
as an educator was invaluable to me and anyone he collaborated
party at Breitbach's Derby Grange Golf and Recreation was so Thom.
Family, friends, and associates, many of whom brought golf clubs,
played, laughed, ate great food (the pork sandwiches were incredible),
and reminisced. There were some great jokes told by the likes
of John Woodin, Kris Hall, and his many friends who seized upon
the occasion to have a little fun. Thom was genuinely touched.
the photos at right, you get a sense of the broad and diverse
associations and friendships Thom has made during his career.
But here's the best part. Everyone at this party pretty much knew
each other as well as Thom. That says a lot. "Dubuque is
a relationship town," Thom is fond of saying. So true.