A farewell to staffers

Fruitland School Board chairman Kelly Henggeler presents a gift to outgoing Boardmember Diane O’Dell during the Board’s June 29 meeting. This would be the last meeting before her retirement, as well as the last for Superintendent Teresa Fabricius.


The June 29 meeting of the Fruitland School District School Board was a special one for two prominent members of the District Superintendent Teresa Fabricius and outgoing Board member Diane O’Dell.

During this meeting, Board Chairman Kelly Henggeler reflected on their service.

“This year, [we’re] losing a lot of great talent,” he said, who also acknowledged the retirement of government teacher Larry Ziegler, who spoke at the Fruitland High School commencement ceremony on June 15.

Henggeler reflected on O’Dell’s “so many years” of involvement in the District:

“As a teacher, as a principal, we worked side-by-side for probably a dozen years,” said Henggeler, who described O’Dell as supportive and driven by her love for kids and fellow teachers. “I’ve looked up [to her] and really appreciated her mentorship.”

Henggeler presented O’Dell a framed photo from the June 15 commencement ceremony, before those present at the meeting gave her a standing ovation.

“It’s been wonderful; I figured out it was 44 years, as I went to 12 years of school here in Fruitland, so it’s been a long time,” said O’Dell. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it … Maybe not quite so much this last year.”

When it came to Fabricius, Henggeler recognized her leadership.

“You’re never gonna find anybody who’s gonna work from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every night, supporting the kids and just there all the time … I’ve known Teresa almost all my life and … Teresa could be a U.S. Senator, she has that kind of talent,” he said.

After Henggeler’s remarks, Fabricius made a point of thanking Fruitland teachers and staff.

“I am so honored to have gotten to do this work with you and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate … what a great community here in the district and our larger community. It is a true honor, thank you so much,” said Fabricius.

The outgoing superintendent also got a standing ovation from those in the room.

Fabricius is moving to Moscow, Idaho this year, as Henggeler pointed out, joking that he and his colleagues would be knocking at her door there soon.

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