Blue Springs South activities director Tim Michael, assistant Pam Hahn head into retirement
Two members of the Blue Springs South High School family bid an emotional farewell to their Jaguar colleagues, friends and peers Wednesday, and more than a few tears were shed, hugs were shared while countless memories came to life.
Tim Michael, who has been South's activities director the past nine years – while being a member of the staff the past 22 – and his faithful assistant, Pam Hahn, who has worked at South the past 26 years, announced their retirements.
While Hahn is looking forward to spending time with her husband Dennis and their children and grandchildren, Michael is going to teach math and be an assistant softball coach at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School.
"Tim and Pam are going to be tough acts to follow," said Blue Springs South Principal Charlie Belt, who is also leaving South to become an assistant superintendent in the Blue Springs School District. "Tim is a pro's pro. You know if he's involved, the job is going to get done, and get done the right way. The job he, Pam and all our teachers, coaches and staff did during the past school year is just remarkable.
"And Pam, well, she is just one of those amazing individuals whose sole purpose in life is to make those people she works with lives easier. She gets here at 6 a.m., doesn't leave on game nights until 9:30 or 10 o'clock and she loves it. I know we're still going to see Pam even after she retires. She's an amazing part of our family and we're going to miss her and Tim, but we are also so happy for them."
Jon Grice, the boys soccer head coach who has been Michael's assistant AD the past six years, will be the school's new activities director; associate principal Ryan Gettings will replace Belt; and Sarah Haines, who has been working at John Nowlin Elementary School, will take over for Hahn.
Throughout a busy morning, friends and administrators stopped by the office to wish Hahn and Michael the best in their future endeavors.
"Right now," an emotional Hahn said, "I don't know if I really want to retire. This is my home away from home, and I know I'm to have a wonderful time with (my husband) Dennis – who was always up here helping me hand out programs and take tickets at games – and I'll get to do some traveling with my family, but right this minute, I'm wondering, 'What was I thinking about?'"
Both Hahn and Michael said the collection of memories over their combined 48 years at South are simply overwhelming, and wonderful.
"There is no way I could pick that one, special moment," Hahn said, "because there have been so many of them. You think of all the proms, the state championships, the big games. But I think of the kids, all the kids who I feel like have become a part of my family."
Before the activities director’s office moved into the new freshman wing of the high school, Hahn had a huge bulletin board filled with newspaper clippings, photos and notes from many of the students who served as aides.
"Pam is incredible and made my life so much easier," Michael said. "Any recognition she gets, she deserves. I don't know what we would have done without her.
"It's an emotional day, but a great day to reflect and look back on my 22 years here and all my years working with Mark (Bubalo) and Pam. You think of the three state championships in football (that included Michael as an assistant coach), the great success in so many programs and activities, our band, our theater department – you think of one great moment, then another great moment comes along.
"It's tough to say goodbye, but having a great guy like Jon move over one seat in the office makes it a lot easier."
While Michael was Bubalo's assistant activities director for nine years, Grice has worked alongside Michael the past six.
"There is a nice continuity in this office," said Grice, who will be assisted by former boys basketball head coach Jimmy Cain. "There is a tradition here that is so cool. The last 20 years we've had Mark and Tim, and now Jimmy and I are going to keep that tradition alive."