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Good friends retiring

July 2, 2009 - Linda Lobeck
As a reporter, I have had the opportunity to get to know a lot of quality people in various positions during the last 25 years. Two very special educators are retiring this year and will definitely leave a void in the schools that they have served. Denny Chartier recently retired as the Iron Mountain Schools superintendent passing the torch on to Scott McClure. Working with Denny over the years has always been a pleasure. I've had to contact him about some positive things as well as potentially negative news items and he's always been straight forward and upfront. That's something you don't always get when dealing with officials. I know that if he tells me something, I can take it to the bank and be certain I'm getting the truth. E-mail's been a great way to stay in touch with local officials and I don't know of anyone that does it better than Denny. He always gives a quick response to any inquiry and will be checking his e-mail even if he's out of the office. The working relationship has been great and I will miss his enthusiasm and support over the years. I've always said that he's the best cheerleader that the school district ever had. That was evident in the way that he put programs and activities for the kids first and foremost in his job. It was truly a pleasure to deal with someone as warm and caring as he is especially over the past couple of years when tough decisions needed to be made with the school budget. It wasn't an enviable job, but Denny handled it straightforward with a lot of class. Another retirement will be occurring on Aug. 1 with Pat Covitz, who has been the principal at the newly named Bishop Baraga Catholic School in Iron Mountain. I met Pat when my older son entered kindergarten and she was just great with all the children and the nervous parents sending their babies to school. She was reassuring and loving to both the children and parents. On a number of occasions I would question her whether I made the right decision to send Ryan to school that early. She reassured me each time telling me every child was in the right place — and kindergarten was right for him. Both of my sons enjoyed her tremendously as a teacher and principal and to this day feel a closeness to her. She made a great impact on every child she came in contact with as a teacher and principal. When the position of principal came open, I hoped and prayed she would apply. She definetely was what the school needed. She lives her life in a way that the children can admire and is the epitome of a Christian. The school has flourished under her guidance. As her friend, I know she's ready to spend some time with her grandchildren who are growing up quickly and her husband. Denny also wants to be able to relax and enjoy some time with his equally hard-working wife, Deb. They were quite a team and promoted the Iron Mountain Schools from the heart. So, next school year will be a little different. New faces at the helms of both schools and a couple of good friends enjoying some downtime that is greatly deserved. I wish them both well and much happiness and health as they enter this next stage in their lives.


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