Teacher Joanne Rasco Retires

December 01, 2002 | Elaine Drury

Memories, hugs, and tears laced veteran educator Joanne Rasco’s recent retirement program at Palouse Hills Adventist School, in Moscow, Idaho.

The celebration lived up to the 36-year veteran teacher’s hallmark reputation for hugs and her personal motto: “Forever Sweet and Kind.”

Ted Carcich, her brother, emceed the evening, teasing his sister with family and school memories. Pastor Dennis Nickel, with his guitar, led the group in singing rousing school songs. Bruce Ham, M.D., and his wife presented a devotional in which they commended Jim and Joanne Rasco for their spiritual contribution to the School. The Rascos plan to remain in the area, as retirees.

The Rascos team-taught for many years, until he retired for health reasons and recently underwent a successful kidney transplant.

Jim Drake, School principal, welcomed the large group of parents, friends, and students. Darryl Hunt, School board chairman, led out in a memory-sharing time, and children added their voices. Alysia Wresch’s lower-grade room presented “Mrs. R” with notes. Wesley Marin, representing the upper-grade room, told her how much she was missed. Then came students from former years.

Three sisters from a non-Adventist family acted out a skit and told how they still sing songs “Mrs. R.” taught then, whenever they travel.

Alberta Jones told how she and her three sisters loved Mrs. R., and Karen Hunt and Katie Nelson represented her former students from Upper Columbia Academy and college with tears of appreciation.

Pat Crew, a former Palouse Hills teacher, closed the program with remarks, titled “One Teacher to Another.”

Audience members then crowded around their much-loved teacher to give personal thanks. One visiting family remarked that the Rascos’ spirit of love had motivated them to enroll their children in the School.