By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Addie Mucha of Howard Lake has decided that it’s time to retire after working at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District for 40 years.
“All of those years were in the same building,” she noted.
Mucha graduated from Mankato State University in 1974, with a mathematics degree.
“I arrived in Howard Lake as a young rookie,” she said.
Mucha expressed her appreciation toward John Scheveck for hiring her, and Larry Engelsted for being her mentor.
She taught eighth grade mathematics for 34 years; and worked the concession stand for every home football and basketball game, and wrestling meet for 22 years.
“I became known as the popcorn queen,” Mucha joked.
She helped organize an athletic banquet each spring, led the scholarship committee, and is a highly-involved member of the HLWW Teacher’s Association, she said.
In February 2008, Mucha suffered a brain aneurysm while at the school.
She was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center, where she underwent surgery and spent the next six weeks recovering.
Mucha spent the rest of the 2007-2008 school year on sick leave, and decided to retire for the first time.
“The first time I retired because I was very sick,” she stated. “I signed my retirement papers in the hospital. The doctors didn’t anticipate I would ever be back at school again.”
By fall 2008, Mucha was back on her feet and returned to school part time to help with testing.
“I’m strong-willed, hard-working, and I had many people praying for me,” she noted.
Mucha expressed her appreciation toward HLWW Superintendent Brad Sellner.
“I have worked very closely with Brad Sellner and have a lot of respect for him,” Mucha noted. “I’m glad he gave me a second chance after my illness. This was a much better way to end my career.”
Mucha noted that not many people can retire from the same job twice, but she couldn’t be happier to have done so.
“I’m an organized person and loved that job,” she said. “But now, my friends are all retired and I decided 40 years of service was enough.”
Mucha enjoyed many moments of her career at the school, and some stood out more than others.
“One time I was bit by a 6-foot boa constrictor snake in the science room,” she recalled. “I had to go to the doctor for a tetanus shot.”
Mucha loved cheering for the Lakers at state tournaments, she said.
“I truly bleed blue and gold,” she added.
Mucha plans to spend her free time reading mountains of books, watching movies, and making cards with her friends.
“I enjoy going to card-making classes with my friends Judi Salonek and Joan Johnson,” Mucha stated. “It’s the perfect hobby for me.”