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Retirement Life For SD Teachers

May 9, 2014, 4:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Retirement Life For SD Teachers

After spending 29 years in the Brandon Valley School District, Dean Pearson is deciding to call it a career.

"You come to the job and it's another day, another group of students and it's another topic and you just kind of keep going to it. I've enjoyed every day of it, though. I really have. It's a great career," Pierson said.

He's ready for a change of scenery.

"Many people will have different jobs throughout their career. Well, this has been my career my whole time. 29 years at one job is rare for a lot of people," Pierson said.

Pierson is one of more than 100 teachers who will retire before the next school year beings. Since 2008, 911 teachers have applied for retirement through the South Dakota Retirement System.

The South Dakota Retired Teachers Association makes sure every one of them is eased into their next step in life.

"I think they miss the students. Despite what people think, we love them, and they miss the interaction with their fellow teachers," South Dakota Retired Teachers Association President Nancy May said.

May considers the group a financial watchdog. She says South Dakota's retirement system is the envy of other states that are struggling to support their former teachers.

"Some states are suing the legislature in their state. Illinois is one of them; Rhode Island is another because they're not getting what they thought they were going to get when they retired," May said.

Finances are the furthest thing from Pierson's mind. He's looking forward to some time off, 29 years in the making.

"Do some fishing; do some golfing.  Do some things like that and have some fun. My wife and I would like to have a chance to do some vacationing and stuff," Pierson said.

"The big thing about retirement is I don't know how I ever had time to work. You get very busy," May said.

Pierson says that along with the fun, he plans on getting into art while also staying close to the school district as a substitute teacher.

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