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Dot Quiring Retires from Heartland Preschool

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For 32 years, the eminent face of Dot Quiring welcomed preschoolers into our school. She was their introduction to education and paved the foundation for them to thrive. Culminating circumstances, however, nodded that it was time for Dot to retire and pass on the teaching baton for this next school year.

Dot’s career story began when she set off to college with an interest in child psychology. The suggestion of a teacher, though, shifted her towards education instead. After earning an Associate of Arts at Cottey College in Missouri, she continued on to major in education at Doane. She also later earned a Masters in Special Education from UNL. 

Although Dot always worked in Henderson, she was technically employed through one or a combination of institutions throughout the years including Henderson Community School, Geneva Support Services Cooperative, and Heartland Community Schools.

Reflecting on her career, she had several positives to point out. While education is a challenging field, she said the support and respect from her colleagues and administration played a significant role in the length of her tenure. Building relationships with the families was also crucial to her, especially since she was often the first contact for new families to the area. 

“Some of my best memories are from working with challenging kids. I learned the most from them, and they stimulated mind and abilities. I also taught all the siblings of many families and had some second generation students.” Dot will additionally take with her a vault of humorous stories and witty phrases of the preschool children.

Even with a cushion of experience, this year’s pandemic presented a distinct and arduous task. “It was difficult to come up with creative ways to engage preschool age kids with distance learning.” While it prompted further growth professionally, it also gave her a window of personal reflection. During this, her priority of caring for her aging parents in southwestern Nebraska shifted to the surface. 

“Thirty-two years went so quickly. It has been a satisfying and positive career. I feel like it was God’s calling for my life, and now I’m moving into a different realm serving the people who made me who I am.”

Dot did explain that she will likely still be involved in education in some way in the future, but as she leaves her classroom, it will be entrusted to another familiar face in town. Cami Buller will succeed Dot, leaving York Public Schools to teach in her hometown. Cami completed practicum hours under Dot and has been a colleague of hers in recent years. Dot also taught Chris and Cami’s children at Heartland Preschool. “It’s easier to leave a position that you’ve put so much of yourself in when you know it will be in good hands for the next stage,” Dot remarked.

As a closing thought to the community she’s served, Dot wisely challenged all of us to appreciate what we have—personally and relationally. “Always put people first and show grace; we have it really good in school and community.”

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