Mesa Physical Education Teacher Kicks Off Retirement with One Last Field Day
Kayce Schumacher is beaming from ear to ear as she presides over her very last Field Day at Mesa Elementary. Whistle around her neck and airhorn in hand, she directs different groups of smiling children to their stations.
“I prefer a more traditional Field Day,” said Schumacher. “Some schools rent bouncy houses, but the classic activities are my favorites.” Of course, she does implement her own personal twists. For example, the tug-of-war has been renamed the tug-of-peace and the relay race involves dressing up as a tourist complete with goofy sunglasses, a lei around the neck and a toy pig in hand. Traditional potato sack races, hurdles, water activities and freeze dance kept the younger levels busy as they received guidance and instruction from their level four and level five peers.
Kayce took special care to show how students with autism participate in the various activities- each child has an adult guiding them and allowing them to interpret the activities more freely to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
After teaching in Kansas, and abroad in Norway and Germany, Kayce made a home for herself as a physical education teacher at Westminster Public Schools. She spent a year at Shaw Heights before settling at Mesa Elementary, where she’s been for the last 26 years. She reminisces about one Field Day when it was so hot outside that the firefighters next door pulled out their hoses and began spraying all the kids, or the time she actually went into labor while on the field teaching. This year’s flyer to promote Field Day uses a drawing of two tennis shoes- the original graphic she used for her very first Field day back in 1996. While she is ready to retire and move on to the next chapter of her life, it is clear that the memories she made at Mesa will last a lifetime and the impact she has had on that community will not soon be forgotten.