Whitko Community Schools retirees recently gathered for lunch at Cerulean in Winona Lake.
Whitko Community Schools retirees recently gathered for lunch at Cerulean in Winona Lake.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2016 the median number of years an employee would have stayed loyal to their company was 4.2.

Compare that with retirees from Whitko community Schools who meet every other month to share a meal and reconnect. Many in this group served for 20 or more years inside the Whitko school system, and many have continued their Whitko experience by serving as volunteers.

The meetings are marked by some deep connections. “We’re friends, and we want those friendships to continue. ’cause after all, we spent many years together,” said retired kindergarten teacher Becky Dick.

The idea for regular meetings was proposed at one get-together, and members quickly fell in love with the idea.

“This is the first time I’ve done this,” Scott Ringler, former Whitko speech pathologist, said at a recent gathring at Cerulean in Winona Lake. “I got a text from Becky, and I said, ‘You know, if I don’t have anything to do, I’m gonna do it.’”

Ringer said he delivers vehicles part time now that he is retired, and he turned down a job to come to the luncheon.

The Whitko Retiree Group consists of 15 to 20 former teachers and staff, and continue to invite newcomers.