Six long-time educators retiring from MFL MarMac

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Twila Converse

Eric Dettbarn

Dawn Dull

Lynn Jones

Judie Oelke

Kathy Ruhser

Six long-time educators—Twila Converse, Eric Dettbarn, Dawn Dull, Lynn Jones, Judie Oelke and Kathy Ruhser—are retiring from MFL MarMac Community School District.

Middle school science teacher Twila Converse graduated from college with a BA degree in education and an endorsement in art. She believes she had the best of both worlds: 25 years of being a farm wife and mother and then almost 20 years of influencing students’ lives. Converse was a caring teacher who really took the time to get to know each and every one of her students. She was loved by students and respected by her colleagues. Her compassion and “grandmotherly” touch will be missed.

Fourth grade teacher Eric Dettbarn graduated from college with a BA degree in elementary education and a minor in coaching. He has touched the lives of many students and athletes at MFL MarMac with 33 years of teaching, 33 years of being the head boys basketball coach and 16 years of being head baseball coach. His common sense approach to teaching and his sense of humor made him a favorite among many students. He worked hard each and every day and got along well with all students and staff.

Fourth grade teacher Dawn Dull graduated from college with an elementary education degree and later received her master’s degree in education. Dull worked her entire career at the district—first at MFL, then later MFL MarMac. She has 37 years of experience and has taught mainly fourth and fifth grade. Dull was passionate about teaching and treated all students as if they were her own. She was organized and kept things running on her end of the building. Whenever anyone needed assistance with anything, she was the first to offer her help and support. 

High school teacher Lynn Jones began her teaching career 40 years ago at Jesup High School, after receiving her teaching degree from UNI. After two years in Jesup, she moved home to teach at MFL MarMac High School. She has been an English teacher and P.E. instructor ever since. She has influenced so many students through the years, while now teaching the children of many former students. Jones not only taught English and P.E. very well, but was good at building relationships with her students and teaching them very valuable life lessons.

Judie Oelke began her education studies at Luther College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She then went on to receive her master’s degree in special education. Oelke began her teaching career at MFL MarMac 34 years ago. She also has more than 10 years of experience at other districts, totalling over 40 years of teaching experience. For the majority of her career, Oelke focused on special education. She was a kind, caring and respected teacher for the district. 

K-6 music teacher Kathy Ruhser received her music education degree from Luther College. She first taught band at a school in Minnesota for two years, before joining Central Elkader, where she taught both music and band from 1980 to 2012. In 2018, Ruhser came out of retirement to serve the students at MFL MarMac. Her quick smile and quick step, along with her musical talents, will be missed in both the Monona and McGregor Centers.

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