ESD 112 will miss its “cheerleader in chief,” Lori Oberheide as she rides off into the retirement sunset. Lori was hired at ESD 112 in 1983 as an intern and has loyally served the organization for the past 36 years. She spent the last decade as assistant superintendent for the Communications & Public Engagement Department, where she grew staffing from three staff members, whose responsibilities were to write and print school district newsletters, to 14 professionals now managing sophisticated strategic communications projects, web development, video services and a suite of creative services for education organizations throughout the state.

Lori and her more than three decades of service were celebrated at a retirement party on September 26. Colleagues donned western wear and former staff member Casey Gleysteen flew across the country to participate in the celebration. Lori’s family, including her mom, dad, husband and children were all present for the special occasion, which celebrated her many relationships formed and contributions made to the ESD. A video her staff created was played and can be viewed here:

And, true to her work in communications, she wrote a well-crafted letter to staff to say goodbye:

THANK YOU for the wonderful “country music” inspired retirement party on September 26. Words cannot express how much it meant to me! Many thanks and great appreciation goes to the party committee for honoring me in such a memorable way! Thank you to Sara Moore, Susan Rahl, Heidi Barnes, Lisa Alexander, Wendy Niehaus, Rose Yandell, Gail Spolar and Monique Dugaw.

My 36 years serving ESD 112 has been an incredible journey. I am so passionate about the work, and even more so about the people who make this organization THE BEST place to work, serve and thrive. I have gained life-long friends, learned new skills, and experienced challenges and successes that will forever be part of my story. I love my team, my Cabinet colleagues, and all others I have had the honor of knowing here at the ESD.

As I have learned, “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go…” Even though in retirement I must let go, I will always hold on to pieces of the ESD and the privilege I’ve had to be part of it.

Sincerely, Lori

Lori’s last day with ESD 112 was September 27, 2019. She plans to take some vacations with her husband and spend time attending many country western concerts.