The three teachers have a combined 100 years of teaching. | Photo credit: Kelsey Curnutt, McKenzie Myers, LifeTouch
Denise Curnutt was born to Fred and Doris Grundset Schaller two days after Christmas, (but whose mom always had a birthday celebration separate from Christmas.) The oldest sibling of Greg, John, Ann, and Anthony, she grew up on the St. Joseph River, exploring, swimming, and sledding. Teaching was her goal from a young age.
She attended schools in Berrien Springs, and after graduating from Pacific Union College, started teaching at a two-teacher school on the Oregon Coast. In Tillamook she met and married her husband, Charlie, and after teaching seven years, stayed home for seven years with the arrival of Willy, followed by daughter, Kelsey.
Moving to Michigan in 1992 to teach at Ruth Murdoch Elementary (RMES) turned into a 30 year experience, five years teaching grades 1st-3rd , followed by 25 years in kindergarten.
Always energetic, creative, cheerful, and organized in her teaching, Denise guided young children in a hands-on, developmental, whole child program, treating students as the deep, creative thinkers they could be. There wasn’t a subject she didn’t enjoy delving into with her class. Five years were spent on the development team for the new North American Division kindergarten curriculum, Stepping Stones. She was known as the plant and card lady, and Chicago Cubs fan, at RMES.
In retirement she’s looking forward to writing, reading, hiking, traveling, painting, gardening, doing 562 house projects, more family time, and getting a dog.
Tamie Hasty was born in Sioux City, Iowa to Raymond & Viola Bailey. She has three older sisters, and one younger brother. In fourth grade she laid sod, and helped her mom prepare food for the men building the new church. A few years later she was given permission to paint a Noah’s Ark mural on the Sabbath school wall.
Tamie graduated from Oak Park Academy, and during the summers she worked at camps in Iowa, North Dakota, and Minnesota as the head cook 7 out of the 10 years of working at camp. She graduated from Union College, teaching at Dakota Adventist Academy for three years, getting married to Adam Hasty the summer before her last year at DAA.
The couple moved to Pipestone, Minnesota where Tamie taught in a one-room classroom. During those six years they welcomed their three children, Matthew, Sara, and Emily. The family then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where Tamie was a stay-at-home mom for the next six years, teaching two classes at College View Academy the first year of their move.
For the past 26 ½ years Tamie has taught in Cadillac, Lake Onion, and Ionia, Mich. Most of these years were in a one-room classroom. The couple plans to retire in Colorado where they will be closer to two of their children and grandchildren.
Karen Johnston Gotshall is retiring after 20 years of teaching ministry in the Michigan Conference. Karen knew early on that God was calling her to be a teacher. During her elementary school years in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, she ran “summer school” for her siblings and neighborhood children. During academy, Karen was involved in children’s Sabbath School divisions and Vacation Bible School programs.
While in college at Andrews University, she spent two years as a student missionary in Hong Kong teaching English to junior high students. After completing a double major in Elementary Education and General Science, Karen taught in Flint before returning to Andrews University to complete a Master’s degree in Reading. Karen stayed home for almost a decade to raise her young children. She then re-entered Adventist education as a teaching principal in Coldwater, Cedar Lake, and Warren. Next Karen taught at Ruth Murdoch Elementary in Berrien Springs and most recently in Holland. Two challenging but valuable experiences during Karen’s career were teaching in a one-room school and providing education online during Covid.
Karen is married to retired pastor, Dave Gotshall. They have three married children and three grandchildren. Retirement plans include travel spending more time with family, gardening, biking, boating, and of course substitute teaching.
Jeremy Hall, superintendent of Education, Michigan Conference