2011 Riverview School District retirees

  • Written by Leanne Christensen

Renate Oestreich and Jeannie Barbour from Cherry Valley Elementary

Renate Oestreich

Renate Oestreich began working in the Riverview School District in 1989 as a secretary and an educational assistant at Cherry Valley Elementary. In 1998 she became the head secretary there. Renate is well-known for her excellent office and people skills. She is often one of the first employees to greet visitors at Cherry Valley, and it is always with a pleasant smile and genuine offer of assistance.

Fellow workers and parents say that Renate is one of the most positive, organized and dependable people they know. She is extremely professional and wonderfully patient with everyone she comes in contact with; whether it is a student in need of a bandage or a parent in need of guidance. One volunteer parent shared, "Renate takes the time to ensure that all needs are met with compassion and perseverance, every day and in every way possible."

Jeannie Barbour

Jeannie Barbour has worked in the Riverview School District since 1988, at Cherry Valley Elementary.

Her "title" is educational assistant, however over the years her job has encompassed a multitude of duties, some of which have been: safety patrol supervisor, recycling program organizer, computer lab coordinator and even the 3rd Street traffic cop!

Employees and parent volunteers describe Jeannie as positive, organized, willing to do WHATEVER needs to be done, and self motivated. She is also known for her witty sense of humor, and her ever present personal flair!

Reflecting on her years at Cherry Valley, Jeannie shares, "It was my honor to work with such loving, caring and positive people… added to the love and openness of the children, and a little laughter, truly a great job!"


Betty Rich and Butch Harviston from Stillwater Elementary

Betty Rich

Betty Rich has worked in the Riverview School District since 1980. She began her career as a special education teacher at Carnation Elementary, and from 1983 until 2007 she taught grades ranging from kindergarten through 4th grade. Since 2007 Betty has been teaching a 3rd/4th combination class and 3rd grade at Stillwater Elementary.

When staff and parents are asked to describe their working experiences with Betty, such phrases as: "positive attitude, a willingness to take on ALL things, a Master Teacher, and a valuable staff member" are repeated time and time again.

Fellow employees also mention her dedication to not only her students, but to the district as well, which is evident in her participation in many district and school committees over the years.

Betty originally chose teaching as a career because she has always enjoyed working with children. She shared in her original application in 1980, "I will use any method that will help a child to learn." She has certainly done that and so much more through her compassionate, innovative and above and beyond teaching techniques throughout her entire career.

Loy ‘Butch’ T. Harviston

Butch Harviston began his teaching career in Riverview in 1980 at Carnation Elementary. Prior to RSD he taught 3rd grade for five years. From 1980 until 1989 he taught all grades ranging from 3rd to 5th at Carnation. It was at this time that he moved to Stillwater Elementary as a 3rd grade teacher.

Upon beginning his career in RSD he stated that he entered the teaching profession for two reasons: first, because he enjoyed working with children, and second because he always thought that he could do a better job of teaching than many of his own teachers had done. He says, "I always try to be aware of my students’ feelings and to treat them the way I would want to be treated."

Butch is described as "an exceptional contributor to Stillwater Elementary, a life- long learner, an amazing staff resource and a leader among his peers and throughout the entire district." In his own words he describes his years in education in this way, "Teaching and learning can be hard work.  It is important to have a little fun when you can… and I have always tried to make learning fun."

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