Saying Goodbye to Our Beloved Kennedy Teachers

As the 2022-2023 school year comes to an end with the finish of fall sports, we say goodbye to eight Kennedy teachers.
Saying Goodbye to Our Beloved Kennedy Teachers
Deborah Baber

On the day of the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids, Deborah Baber was offered a job here at Kennedy High School to be a technology facilitator. Prior to this, she had worked in the Educational Leadership and Support Center in the PACT curriculum and even worked at the elementary level. Her desire to continue working with students brought her back to Kennedy.

Baber enjoyed working with a variety of staff and students over the years. Stepping out of her comfort zone often is what honed her skills with technology. Problem solving, the ability to try new things and even good customer service skills have taken her far as a member of the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Her determination to take on challenging tasks such as the distribution of devices to 1800 students for the very first time, or even setting up the smartboards back in 2000 has shown her just how adaptive and well-rounded she is. Baber has reached the point in her career where she’s ready to move on to other things she’s enjoyed in the background, such as spending time with kids and grandkids and teaching piano. What she’ll miss most is her fellow students and staff, as well as handling new challenges every day.

Julie Bradley

Beginning in 2021, Julie Bradley made the decision to continue her career as a teacher at Kennedy High School. After previously teaching at Hiawatha Elementary, Cedar River Academy and Harding Middle School as an ELL teacher, she saw Kennedy as a way to continue providing a sense of support and comfort to students of all backgrounds.

The interactions and relationships she’s built between numerous families and students will always be something she cherishes. Not only has Bradley helped her students learn and grow into resilient people, they’ve taught her how to be the best teacher she could be.

Her work here at Kennedy, as well as in previous schools, has brought her to retirement from the Cedar Rapids Community School District. Bradley will move on to greater opportunities to be a volunteer at the Peace Corps Response in Belize to implement new literacy curriculums across the country for nine months following her retirement.

Angie Fogle

Kennedy’s special education department has called Angie Fogle an integral member for the last 21 years and will feel her loss following her retirement. Her favorite things about Kennedy were her students and having the opportunity to get to know them closely. She has loved getting the chance to help students through school.

Fogle’s top things she is going to miss will be the staff who are like her family.

After Fogle retires she hopes to travel to all of the places she has taught about, mainly focusing on Greece.

Bret Hoyer

Bret Hoyer has been teaching at Kennedy for 30 years, ranging from a variety of math classes to educating Kennedy’s student body of finance. Hoyer has also spent his time coaching baseball at Kennedy for 31 years.

Hoyer’s favorite memories will always be teaching when his kids were at Kennedy, along with teaching with friends and my amazing colleagues. His best experiences at Kennedy come from teaching, getting to coach students and making great memories with the players and the families.

Hoyer said he’s going to miss having the day-to-day interactions with his colleagues and close friends.

Kathryn Hrubes

Kathryn Hrubes has been a math teacher at Kennedy for 29 years. While at the school, she taught a range of upper-level math classes. Hrubes is going to miss helping students further their education and building bonds with them in the process.

After she retires, Hrubes wants to prioritize traveling. This includes spending time with her family in NYC and Tampa and visiting the “Holy Land” in Israel.

Hrubes had many great memories during her time at Kennedy. She claims there were too many to pick a favorite, but she loved all the friendships she formed while teaching.

Dennis Hynek

Dennis Hynek has been teaching at Kennedy for 31 years, primarily educating students in Consumer Math and Algebra 2 Readiness. He also has been coaching girls wrestling for 20 years.

Hynek’s most-missed aspect of Kennedy will be the kids he has taught and coached through the years and all of the coworkers he has had the pleasure of teaching with. Hynek said his favorite memories will be going from ‘the newbie’ to more of a mentor.

After retirement, Hynek will be moving to Chattanooga, Tennessee with his family to teach for a couple more years.

Mark Jensen

In 2001, Mark Jensen had just finished his master’s degree and had begun his career at Harding Middle School in Educational Technology after former Harding principal Randy Krejci offered him the position. This paved the way for him to eventually move on to Kennedy High School to teach science and coach girls cross country.

Jensen’s ability to develop relationships with his team and students is what he believes is most important at Kennedy. He took pride in recognizing everyone and making sure they had a place in the school. His most valued memories were when he could see in a kid’s eyes that they finally understood something. Witnessing the learning take place and the growth happens was what encouraged him to teach up until he turned 88.

After working in the Cedar Rapids Community School District, he’s found that it’s time for him to move on. Jensen plans to continue his work at the Relief Cedar Rapids Trees Forever where he’ll help plant trees across the town in the spring and summer seasons.

Cori Nebiker

Cori Nebiker has worked in the kitchen at Kennedy for 27 years. She loved working with her fellow kitchen staff, especially her colleague Kelly who accompanied her for 26 years.

Nebiker will miss being able to bond with students at Kennedy. She enjoyed being able to work with special needs students who helped in the kitchen during the mornings.

As Nebiker retires, she will stay at home to relax, garden and spend time with her granddaughter.

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