2019-2020 Retirement Recognitions

As we approach the holiday weekend, I wanted to take a moment to recognize and congratulate two staff members on their retirement from the Shorewood School District, Jeff Cartier & Mike Barikmo!
Jeff Cartier
jeffJeff, or “Mr. C.” as his students call him, taught ecology and ancient history to 6th graders at Atwater Elementary for the last eight years. In addition to being dedicated to his classroom, he was also one of the founders of the well-known Atwater Video Club which ran from 2012-2016 (along with Mr. Schiro and Mr. Boyer).

When asked about Jeff, here are what colleagues had to say about him:

“Jeff’s retirement is certainly exciting but he leaves large shoes to fill at Atwater. His passion for teaching, students being leaders of their learning, and offering students a well-rounded experience are all things that make him a great teacher/colleague. Jeff is a staple in the Atwater Community and he will be missed. I wish him well on his much deserved retirement.”
“We are going to miss Jeff immensely as a teaching team next year. It is difficult to even imagine doing this without him at Atwater. Jeff is truly dedicated to two things in his life-his wife and his students. He cares for them and their families and inspires them to be great. He is thoughtful, funny, compassionate and so so so knowledgeable. I have learned so much about history and civilizations from Jeff and he has a way of making our students fall in love with topics that I myself found boring as a kid. Beyond history, he has inspired hundreds of kids to become agents of change, whether through ecology projects or as human rights advocates. He is going to be greatly missed next year by both students and teachers and will leave a lasting legacy at Atwater School.”
“Jeff has touched the lives of countless fellow educators, families and students here in Shorewood and Milwaukee for over 25 years. I have been extremely fortunate to work beside Jeff for the last 8. He will leave an incredible lasting impact on all of us. It is difficult to encapsulate all that he is in a paragraph. I cannot help but think of his eloquence for the written and spoken word and how my sentiments will not do him justice. Jeff regularly uses the term "partners" when referring to members of our teaching team, yet he himself is the epitome of an amazing partner. As a colleague, Jeff is collaborative, always contributing as well as listening. As a teacher, he engages his students in such a way that they always feel part of the team. Even more so, he makes learning interesting and inspiring. He has dubbed himself a "teacher of ecology and ancient civilizations" which is a great indication of how he challenges the kids to learn in a deep, complex and meaningful way. He has brought so much talent, laughter, compassion, knowledge and wit to our entire school community. We will miss him immensely.”
“Jeff is an extremely dedicated teacher who goes the extra mile to connect with his students. He has realistic goals embedded with high expectations in his classroom each and every day. Jeff has a sense of humor that everyone can relate to and laugh along with, and he is incredibly loyal to those close to him. His calm demeanor and logical point of view put people at ease and make him instantly relatable to those who interact with him on a daily basis, both students and staff.”
Jeff has enjoyed unparalleled collaborations with his teaching partners, Kerstin Mestelle and Carrie Zuithoff. He has had a fantastic time at Atwater where his colleagues have been dynamic and professional, his kids super fun and engaged and his families incredibly supportive and generous.
He will miss everyone but has plans while in retirement to finish writing a novel, produce at least one award winning documentary and catch up on his reading list!
We will miss you Jeff.
Mike Barikmo
mikeMike, or “Mr. Mike" as students called him, served as the head custodian of Shorewood Intermediate School for the last seven years. He was very dedicated to keeping the school running as smoothly as possible at all times and prided himself in maintaining cleanliness throughout the campus.

When asked about Mike, here are what colleagues had to say about him:

"We appreciate the dedication Mike has demonstrated to our students, staff and building. No two days are the same when you work in a middle school and Mike has always been willing to step in, help out, and provide support when needed. We will miss his presence in the building and wish him the best in his future plans."

“A few years ago, Atwater was giving away a desk. I asked for it and it was delivered to SIS. Mike saw it and told me he was surprised I wanted it, because it was not in great shape. I assured him that I did, explaining that it’s a really nice, old piece of furniture.
Several weeks later, I came back after Spring Break to a completely and beautifully refinished desk! We are going to miss Mike, his kindness and his desire to make sure things are done the right way are two qualities that have made Mike a great Head Custodian.”
“Mike is always kind and extremely helpful. He took great pride in all the projects he worked on within the District and he did a great job. He will be greatly missed!”
“Mike was exceptionally generous in sharing gifts from his home garden: the best tomatoes and peppers and homemade maple syrup you ever tasted.”
“Mike is the kind of guy who was always there if you needed him. If you had to get into the building extra early, Mike would make sure to be there to let you in, no matter the time … he also went the extra mile to form connections with some students, especially those who were interested in aviation, which is a passion of his. He even helped raise money for a student to go to aviation camp for one week. And he always put extra effort into getting to know and assisting the new teachers when they started.”
“Mike was always available and helpful when I needed him around the school, I always knew I could rely on him. I really enjoyed his life stories, he is a very friendly and interesting man who has many and diverse life experiences. We shared many laughs together. I will miss him.”
Mike has enjoyed his experiences in the District and will miss coming to SIS every day, but has many ideas for what he wants to do in retirement. He hopes to get back into working with the Cedarburg American Legion Post, spending more time with his three-year old grandson, and working on his tree farm, among other things.
We will miss you Mike.

Be Well,

Dr. Bryan Davis (on behalf of all District staff)