Reinhard retires at Truman

By Bill Althaus
The Examiner

During the last nearly quarter of a century Truman High School has gone through countless changes – from a renovation in the classrooms, auditorium, band room and gymnasium to the new football and baseball fields, and the new softball and tennis complex that will be open this fall.

But there has been one constant, as Marilyn Reinhard, a 1969 Truman graduate, has assisted the school's activities directors, beginning with Gary Bressman and running through Eric Holm and Daniel Bieser.

Truman High School activities director Daniel Bieser goes over the summer school activities with retiring assistant Marilyn Reinhard, who has worked at her alma mater the past 24 years.

After a 24-year career that included everything from coordinating player physicals and collecting tickets at games and school plays, to taking temperatures and checking checking on COVID protocol, Reinhard is retiring this month.

And she is retiring with no regrets.

"Twenty four years at the same school, which happens to be the school I graduated from, doing the same job and loving every minute of it," Reinhard said, sitting at her desk outside Bieser's office, near the newly remodeled gym and band room.

"There are so many memories – I could never name just one. I have had three children graduate from Truman – Brett in 1995, Jeff in 1998 and Lindsey in 2003 – and I have seen our school and the school district make so many wonderful changes."

"I have been so proud to be a member of the Truman staff, and I will always be a Patriot."

She never imagined being an activities director's assistant. Her first job was in Truman's adult education department with Roger Pauk. 

She was a stay-at-home mom, "and I was at a basketball game and heard they had an opening in the adult education department," Reinhard said, "and I thought, why not apply? So I did."

"And much to my surprise, I got the job. Then I thought, well, I have this new job. What am I supposed to do?"

She made that transition and a year and a half later, she began working with Bressman, a 1972 Truman grad.

"I knew it would be time consuming and I would spend a lot of hours at the high school, but I absolutely loved being Gary's assistant, and I can say the same thing about working with Eric and Daniel."

"There is a family feel to our activities department. We are all there for one another, and I would do anything for them, and they would do anything for me."

Bieser, who is entering his third year as activities director, said he could not imagine the transition from middle school to high school without Reinhard's guidance and leadership.

"From Day 1 Marilyn has meant everything to me," Bieser said. "She was so kind when I took came over to Truman after Eric retired, and if I had a question, she had an answer. Looking back on it, I can't begin to thank Marilyn enough for all she did for me. I was a young guy taking over from an AD who was among the most respected activities directors in the state, and she made sure I felt comfortable, had everything I ever needed and worked tirelessly to make for a smooth transition."

"And she has worked that hard every day since I arrived."

Truman principal Ronda Scott, another Truman grad and who also taught at the school during Reinhard's early tenure, is another Reinhard fan.

"Oh my gosh, I could on for hours about Marilyn," Scott said. "She is the kindest, most gracious and sincere person you could ever meet. I knew her when I was teaching, I know her as a principal, and most importantly, know and respect her as a friend."

"Doing this for 24 years is pretty darned special. She has seen so many wonderful changes at our school, witnessed so many wonderful events and seen her three children graduate from here. We're going to miss her, but she deserves a little recognition because she has meant everything to our school for 24 years."

In her final days at Truman, Reinhard and Bieser are going over the summer school schedule and making sure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed.

"We all survived this past year and really did great despite all the COVID protocol, virtual learning and limited seating at our games and other activities," Reinhard said. "It was not the way I pictured my last year, but it made me even more proud to be a Patriot because we got through it, we opened earlier than any other school district and we showed we could create a great learning environment for our students."