Sick, personal days are being used for an early retirement

Teachers and staff are saving up personal days to be able to retire early.

Teacher+Gwen+Stencler+works+on+her+computer+to+prepare+for+a+day+full+of+classes.+Stencler+has+saved+her+sick%2C+personal+and+annual+leave+days+for+an+earlier+retirement.
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Sick, personal days are being used for an early retirement

Teacher Gwen Stencler works on her computer to prepare for a day full of classes. Stencler has saved her sick, personal and annual leave days for an earlier retirement.

Teacher Gwen Stencler works on her computer to prepare for a day full of classes. Stencler has saved her sick, personal and annual leave days for an earlier retirement.

Teacher Gwen Stencler works on her computer to prepare for a day full of classes. Stencler has saved her sick, personal and annual leave days for an earlier retirement.

Teacher Gwen Stencler works on her computer to prepare for a day full of classes. Stencler has saved her sick, personal and annual leave days for an earlier retirement.

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Retirement is something that most people in the workforce look forward to, as it is a time to relax after having worked for 30+ years. Some teachers may be able to enjoy an early retirement by saving up their personal days.

Spanish teacher, Gwen Stencler, has accumulated 190 sick days over the span of 23 years.

“I’m not out very much. I don’t take off all the time,” Stencler said.

Stencler plans on using her personal days to be able to retire a year early. She also offered a word of advice to new teachers who would like to be able to retire early: instead of taking mental health days, teachers should come to school and seek their colleagues for moral support.

“Rely on your other teachers to help you,” Stencler said. “I know it (teaching) gets frustrating; you get discouraged sometimes and you have to rely on other people to help bring you back up.”

Stencler, whose daughter just graduated from high school and is now in college, also acknowledges how many teachers must use accumulated leave when caring for their family members.

“It really depends, too, if teachers have young children because with young children, you can be out a lot if they get sick,” said Stencler.

Principal Ralph Kitley has also accumulated a large number of leave days: more than 550.

“My plan is to put those days towards retirement and service,” Kitley said. “It takes 30 years to fully retire, so if I work 29 years, I could retire with 31 or more years of service.”

On days students are in school, teachers must use a sick or personal day to be able to take off; they cannot use a vacation day, Kitley said.

“Administrators can, which makes it harder for teachers to build up days,” Kitley said.

Stencler recommends to novice teachers to stay healthy and save their days.

“Just have a positive attitude. Come to school,” Stencler said.

 

 

 

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