During the flag retirement ceremony, flags were presented to, from left: NW Flag: Andrea Homstad, retiring school nurse, Mary Beth Dahl, custodian; Iowa flag: Birgitta Meade, retiring science teacher; US Flag: Wangsness family (a third generation NW family) – Cael, fifth grade, Kaci, third grade, Tessia, library para-professional, Jon, School Board member.
During the flag retirement ceremony, flags were presented to, from left: NW Flag: Andrea Homstad, retiring school nurse, Mary Beth Dahl, custodian; Iowa flag: Birgitta Meade, retiring science teacher; US Flag: Wangsness family (a third generation NW family) – Cael, fifth grade, Kaci, third grade, Tessia, library para-professional, Jon, School Board member.
On the last day of school before the North Winneshiek School District consolidates with the Decorah School District, several long-time North Winneshiek employees were honored with flags before the flags were retired at the school.
Mary Beth Dahl received the North Winn flag for her 28 years as custodian.
Dahl also worked several years as a bus associate. Her five children attended North Winn: Holly, Chad, Pasha, Jason and Cody, as well as two grandchildren, Deanna and Savannah.
Also receiving the North Winn flag was Andrea Homstad, the school nurse school nurse for 18 years.
Homstad was the Wellness leader and kitchen helper for four years and served in various “booster” volunteer activities prior to her employment.
Homstad’s husband, Carl, served on the North Winn School Board from 1990 to 1999. The Homstads’ son, Paul, graduated from North Winneshiek in 2002, and their daughter, Lisa, completed eighth grade at North Winn in 2004, and graduated from Decorah High School in 2008.

24 years
Birgitta Meade, retiring after teaching science for 24 years at North Winneshiek, received the Iowa flag.
Meade started in 1995 as the high school biology teacher. She also taught microbiology, anatomy and physiology, environmental science, ninth grade health and eighth grade life science.
“I started my first year with five different preps and seven classes a day -- it nearly killed me,” Meade recalled.
“I filled out a mid-year resignation and if it weren’t for Laurie Worcester convincing me not to turn it in, I would have turned my back on teaching permanently.”
With the help of grant money from many sources, Meade was able to develop the renewable energy curriculum and water quality testing curriculum that she later shared with many other teachers while presenting at National Science Teachers Association conferences.
Meade had a number of former students become teaching colleagues.
“The North Winn community encouraged me while I pursued National Board Certification and a master’s of science in science education. Later, I chose to specialize in Middle School education.”
Meade said she had enormous creative freedom at North Winneshiek. 
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a teacher at North Winneshiek school,” she said.

Three generations
The Wangsness family, representing three generations at North Winn, received the U.S. flag.
Clayton and Harriett taught at North Winn and their son, Jon, is a School Board member. Jon’s wife, Tessia, was an associate, their children, Cael and Kaci, were current students.
Tessia said the family was honored to receive the flag.
“I can’t express how much that means to us and how much I know it would have especially meant to Jon’s dad Clayton. It will be special to us always,” she said.
Clayton taught from 1965-1970 and then took a break to farm until he returned to teaching in 1984 and remained at the school until the high school closed in 2002.
He is well remembered by his ag students and was the long time FFA advisor.
Harriet spent the vast majority of her teaching career (Title 1/Reading Recovery) at North Winn from 1983-2007 when she retired to help out with her grandson, Cael.
Jon graduated from North Winn High School in 1999 and has served as a Board member since 2013.
Cael started pre-kindergarten in the fall of 2012 and Kaci started in the fall of 2014.
“I started subbing here in 2016 and am very grateful I had the opportunity to finish the school year in my current role as library paraprofessional. We really enjoyed being active at North Winn -- North Winn will always hold a special place in our hearts. We will forever be grateful for our North Winn roots,” Tessia said.