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Rhythm, pattern of life change for Steinhauer

Mary Gales Askren
Published: Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

The display outside the kindergarten classroom at Custer Elementary anticipated one of the classroom activities Lorie Steinhauer enjoyed sharing with her students, the annual kindergarten circus.

 

Even a full day in the classroom isn’t enough to wear out kindergarten teacher Lorie Steinhauer. At 4 p.m., she’s still on the move, picking up things which have fallen to the floor and neatly placing chairs around tables.
However, the rhythm and pattern of her life is about to change. As the school year draws to a close, she ends a 36-year teaching career, 33 of which have been spent at Custer Elementary.
“Josh is at a point in his life that he needs us a little more,” she said explaining her decision to retire.
Joshua is her youngest son, who has Down’s Syndrome. As he transitions into adulthood, having graduated from high school, she wants to take him places to explore his options. 
Beyond that, Steinhauer has absolutely no idea what retirement will look like for her. She jokes that she will probably sleep for six months. Teaching has been integral to her life. 
“It’s not just a big part, it is your life for nine months, and then you recoup,” she said.
She can’t even remember why she went into education in the first place. As one of eight children, five of which were younger, growing up in Eagle Butte, she helped with the summer library program and with her younger siblings.
After graduating from high school, she studied early childhood education at South Dakota State University and added elementary education at Black Hills State University. Her first teaching position was in Dupree.

Even a full day in the classroom isn’t enough to wear out kindergarten teacher Lorie Steinhauer. At 4 p.m., she’s still on the move, picking up things which have fallen to the floor and neatly placing chairs around tables.

However, the rhythm and pattern of her life is about to change. As the school year draws to a close, she ends a 36-year teaching career, 33 of which have been spent at Custer Elementary.

“Josh is at a point in his life that he needs us a little more,” she said explaining her decision to retire.

Joshua is her youngest son, who has Down’s Syndrome. As he transitions into adulthood, having graduated from high school, she wants to take him places to explore his options. 

Beyond that, Steinhauer has absolutely no idea what retirement will look like for her. She jokes that she will probably sleep for six months. Teaching has been integral to her life. 

“It’s not just a big part, it is your life for nine months, and then you recoup,” she said.

She can’t even remember why she went into education in the first place. As one of eight children, five of which were younger, growing up in Eagle Butte, she helped with the summer library program and with her younger siblings.

After graduating from high school, she studied early childhood education at South Dakota State University and added elementary education at Black Hills State University. Her first teaching position was in Dupree.

Available only in the print version of the Custer County Chronicle. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.

 



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