After 28 years of serving within Hamilton Community Schools, Ms. Clausene Carlson is set for retirement at the conclusion of the school year. As a special education resource room teacher, Carlson has helped guide over 100 students to further independence and other lifelong skills.

Even after 28 years, there are still several similarities since she started.

"The thing that still comes to mind is connections, this community is all about connections and those connections between the school and community are very strong," Carlson said.

Carlson's day-to-day can range anywhere from words and letters to social and emotional support, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's been a privilege of mine as a resource room teacher to stay with kids for years, sometimes four, or even five years of working with one child and a family and getting to know them," she added.

Of course, over her three decades in education, Carlson has seen outstanding success stories from her students, including several weddings, success in the workforce, and everything in between.

"It's been great to see students that sometimes people think aren't going to do it and aren't going to get to where we want them, but they're capable of many, many things."

After contemplating retirement all of the 2022-23 school year, Carlson opted to return. This year, she's at peace with her decision and looking forward to a relaxed schedule.

"Last year, I agonized and prayed about it and went back and forth," she explained. "This year, I went into it very laid back and in January, I was like, 'Okay, it's time.'"

Congratulations, Ms. Carlson, we will miss you!