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Retirees Reflect on Careers
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Monday, December 14, 2020

This December, PVHS will lose two of its stellar staff members to retirement.  Shawnah Van Gronigen, Drama teacher and Jeff Monteiro, Athletic Director have made numerous contributions to our school community and will be truly missed.  They will be honored at a holiday luncheon this week.  

As they reflect............

Shawnah VanGronigen has been teaching for 32 years. "I started at Fowler High School, then Buchanan High School in the San Joaquin Valley then moved to the Central Coast and my first day in the Santa Maria High School district was at Santa Maria High School on Sept. 11, 2001. I moved over to PV when it first opened."  She has orchestrated almost 50 productions during her tenure at PVHS.

Her favorite memory was the opening of the new Performing Arts Center when School of Rock was performed to an audience at last. "All those dinner theaters outside in the freezing weather will always make me laugh when I think of them.  I'll miss those moments in class when everything comes together and all of the students are engaged and someone says something funny and everyone laughs. Right at that second I always think to myself how great this job is."

In retirement she plans to write a play and see it performed.   She would like to be a CASA volunteer, plans on traveling a great deal and raising her new puppy.  She will always be a supporter of the arts at PV.

Jeff Monteiro has been a teacher for 33 years and a coach for 39.  He worked at Paso Robles HS, all of the District schools including Santa Maria, RHS, and Delta.  He was a founding panther at PVHS beginning in 2004.

Most people would think his favorite memory would be a game.  To him, they were a format for relationships.  In recounting memories, there are too many to name one as his favorite - Making his list were:

      • Every time my wife Lita tells the story of Paul Colier's football banquet
      • Kristina's graduation hug
      • Enrique, Jake, Larry, and Raymond our last time hanging out before graduation for burgers
      • Katie's first basketball game as a high school coach
      • Buddy, Chris, and T last time hanging out together before their graduation at King Falafel
      • On our way to the desert to scout - almost made memories out of the coaching staff (Johnny, Jerry, Greg, and Joe). Sorry guys
      • Last (see photo below) Times with my best crew ever - Greg, Jeff, and Johnny, Mike not pictured - way more laughing than crying!

He will miss the great relationships that were easy to form because our school and community forced all of us (co-workers, students, athletes, parents) to be a family. It was easy to love, cherish, forgive, and work together.

Retirement plans include making up for lost family time and traveling.  He and his wife have a 'big ole bucket list.'


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