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Santa Clara Unified School District’s Retiring Employees Reflect on the Past and Look to the Future

In the Santa Clara Unified School District’s (SCUSD) 2019-2020 Employee Recognitions video, retiring employees are among those who received acknowledgment from the district.

A few district retirees looked back on their years of working in education and shared their retirement plans.

Stan Garber worked in education for 38 years, from being an English and Social Studies teacher to the principal of Cabrillo Middle School. Garber, a former Los Gatos Poet Laureate, read his poems at school events. He also facilitated wiffle ball games with Cabrillo teacher, Jerry Feldman, and high-fived students in the morning after they crossed the crosswalk to get to school.

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Garber’s retirement gig is in Santa Clara.

“Six years ago, when the 49ers came to town and started playing at Levi Stadium, they started the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute at Cabrillo,” Garber said. “I took a weekend job working as a docent at The 49ers Museum at the stadium. We are all on furlough because of COVID-19. But the museum will reopen.”

Beth Dericco worked at Laurelwood Elementary School for 23 years as a special education paraeducator to support children with learning disabilities and teachers. Her retirement plans are to spend more time with her family and grandchildren. Dericco would also like to teach reading and writing to adults.

“The thing about special education is that you start with children when they’re in kindergarten and first grade, and if they stay with the school, you stay with them through their time there,” Dericco said of her time working at Laurelwood. “The children in our program have lots of different needs. They all have individual plans that we work on. I worked with a good teacher who oversaw me — her name is Kelly Frame. I started here in one century and ended in another. We went from an analog age to the digital age.”

John Aguiar spent 18 years working as a custodian at Wilcox High School, with the exception of one month he spent working at Pomeroy Elementary School for job training. Aguiar regards his custodian job as the best job he has ever had.

“The people here have made this the best job,” Aguiar said. “I made a lot of friends with the teachers, administrators and kids. Kevin Miller — a Wilcox custodian who I’m hoping will be taking my place — and I included the special education kids in the homecoming parade. For a long time, there was a gate where the football coaches and the players would come through during games to get to the field. I took care of that gate for 12 years.”

Since Aguiar retired, he has been doing a lot of cooking and gardening.

“In the future, I’d like to do more travel,” Aguiar said. “I was born in Brazil. I lived a bit in New York in Long Island, and then I went to Connecticut. I have traveled the East Coast from the Florida Keys to Maine. Someday, I’d like to own an RV and go back to these places I’ve been to before.”

Visit www.santaclarausd.org  to view SCUSD’s 2019-2020 Employee Recognitions video.

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