After 20 years of teaching at The Island School, Betsy Carroll is retiring from the 5th grade at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. She is looking forward to having more time to spend with her husband and to enjoy the outdoors.

Mike Derzon, her 5th grade teaching partner, will be leaving our 5th grade at the same time. However, Mike will continue here as our music teacher, and will add the role of Roving Resource, which was formerly held by our co-founder Dave Leedy. We are thrilled to have Mike stepping into a position where he can provide support in science, math or any other important area as needed to enhance learning and teaching here at the school.

Betsy will continue in a volunteer role working with 2nd and 5th grade on the Ometepe Kids Can Make a Difference Calendar project, and she and Mike plan to help with the 5th grade immigration play. Betsy says, “Teaching is one of my greatest passions, and I cannot imagine life without it.” We are grateful that our students continue to benefit from the mastery and expertise of our retiring teachers.

So many 5th graders describe their culminating year at The Island School as “magical.” Betsy’s master teaching, along with Mike’s, has been central to creating a 5th grade year that has truly been the gem in a crown of amazing experiences for our eldest students, each building upon the other. We are so grateful that Betsy is planning to return as an active volunteer and that Mike is continuing in a different capacity because we’re not quite sure how we would get along without them.