The school's principal is also being transferred to South Daytona Elementary.
Pathways Elementary said goodbye to five of the school's faculty members who are retiring at the end of the school year during a drive-by parade on Friday, May 15. They also said farewell to their principal, Gregory Schwartz, who will be transferred to South Daytona Elementary for the upcoming school year.
Teachers, parents and students — current and former — drove around the school's parent loop with signs, gifts and best wishes for the retirees, three of whom were able to attend. Faculty members waved flags and danced to songs like Kool and the Gang's "Celebration," Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" and Pharrell's "Happy."
The honored retirees were:
- Coach Michele Dennis, who started teaching P.E. in 1976 in Massachusetts. She moved to Florida in 1991 and began teaching in Osteen, and in 1996 moved to the recently built Pathways Elementary. She has also been the county Fitness Festival Shuttle run event leader for the past 29 years.
- Third grade teacher Kip Best, who has taught at Ortona, Pine Trail and Pathways Elementary. For years, she teamed up with retired teacher Becky Pittard to work with a ranger at Tomoka State Park to monitor the pH of the soil and vegetation growth. Together, they also piloted Volusia's first Japanese lesson study groups. Best was nominated as Pine Trail's Teacher of the Year in 2012. She later volunteered to teach at Pathways to start a gifted program.
- Anne Hopkins, a School Way Cafe manager who has put in 22 years of service in schools, the bulk of which has been at Pathways Elementary. She worked her first year at South Daytona Elementary as an assistant, and then after her internship, she was hired at Pathways.
- Janice Fitzgerald, who has worked for six years at School Way Cafe.
- Freddie Jacobson, a paraprofessional who has spent at least eight years working at Pathways.