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Teacher leaves gradeschool for preschoolers
Grandchildren main reason for retirement, Osheim says
By By Alica P. Thiele
Challenger reporter

April 19. 2013 9:24AM
Lorraine Osheim, who teaches writing and English to fifth graders, gets a little teary-eyed when she thinks about leaving the children she loves to teach.

But next to 28 years’ worth of class photos, showing the bright-shining faces of hundreds of children she has taught, are frames of two little boys that mean the world to her – grandsons Lincoln, 3, and Jack, 1. Any day now, the boys will have a little sister, and Osheim wants to spend as much time with them as she can.

“I want to be a ‘be there’ grandma instead of, ‘I’ll see you after school,’ ” she said.

So, next month, Osheim will say goodbye to Robert Bennis Elementary and retire.

Osheim grew up in Wanamingo, Minn., and attended Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, before graduating from college in Mankato, Minn. Her first teaching job was in 1978, teaching fourth grade in Watertown. She stayed there for seven years. During that time, she met and married her husband, David, and the couple had their first of three daughters.

Dave Osheim became a Sioux Falls fireman in 1985, and Lorraine started teaching at Brandon Valley. The couple lived in Sioux Falls a year before moving to Brandon.

Her first classes at Brandon Valley weren’t even in a school – they were in a white annex building behind Brandon Elementary, where Osheim taught fifth and sixth grade. That’s where Mandi Stroh, now Mandi Kriech, met her.

Kriech remembers her teacher as someone with a lot of spunk and energy. “She was able to maneuver between classes (in the annex),” she said.

In 1991, Osheim switched to fourth grade at Brandon Elementary, and when Robert Bennis Elementary opened in the fall of 2003, she was there to greet another new class of students.

Osheim loves the fourth- and fifth-grade age group. “They’re personable,” she said.
“They like to try new things, they still love you and love their parents.

“They’re starting to be independent, starting to spread their wings. They let their minds wander and imagine. They’re very creative,” she said.

Her love of teaching must have been evident in her home, because the Osheim’s three daughters all went into education. Oldest daughter Kristin, BVHS Class of 2000, got a master’s degree in education. She is married to Jon McInerney and lives in Brandon. Osheim is happy her daughter’s family lives close, because that means she can see her grandchildren often.

Middle daughter Megan, BVHS Class of 2006, is a first-grade teacher at Fred Assam Elementary. Daughter Laryssa, BVHS Class of 2010, is a junior at South Dakota State University, studying early childhood.
Perri Robbins’ son was a classmate of one of the Osheim girls, and Robbins got to know the Osheim family a bit. She said Lorraine Osheim always has “such a happy face. She’s probably one of the most positive, affirming people I know.”

After she retires, Osheim said she will miss her students, but she always enjoys seeing and catching up with former pupils. She’s tickled that one of them – Aaron Carroll – now a teacher, will be moving into her classroom this fall. “So it’s in good hands,” she said.

And even though she’s leaving her classroom, Osheim is not leaving Brandon Valley completely. She said she plans to substitute teach for the district next year.





Lorraine Osheim is retiring from her teaching job at Robert Bennis Elementary. She has photos of all her past classes, as well as her children and grandchildren, in her classroom. She said that she loves her job but is retiring to be a full-time grandma. Photo by Alica P. Thiele



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