Sally and Mark Tameler Leave Longfellow


Sally and Mark Tameler smile for a photo. The Tamelers are retiring at the end of the year after 27 years of teaching.

Gwen Ramsey, Co-Editor

Mr Tameler’s 5th grade class giggles as they shuffle Ms. Center’s desk out through the hallway and onto the playground. Other students grab chairs and tables and meet their fellow classmates outside where they assemble the classroom. Ms. Center’s desk sits on the left and her bookshelf on the right, with each of the kids desks set up exactly how they were inside the classroom. After lunch, Ms. Center returns and Mr. Tameler’s kids huddle together holding back laughs as she walks into her room, and to her horror, sees all of her furniture removed. Marching over to Mr. Tameler’s room she exclaimed, “What did you do to my classroom!” Mr. Tameler tauntingly replied. “Oh it’s just out there, look out the window!” The kids erupt in laughter; then help carry everything back inside.

Even students who are now graduating from the high school can remember the sweet memories from 2nd grade, 3rd grade or art class with Mr. or Mrs. Tameler. Sally Tameler, with her renowned collection of giraffes that now sit in their own display case in the new elementary school, alongside energetic 3rd grade teacher and husband Mark Tameler will both retire from the Salida School District at the conclusion of this school year.

After both teaching for 27 years, the time seemed right to move on from their teaching careers. Sally Tameler began teaching in Commerce City, outside of Denver while Mark Tameler found his interest in teaching after shadowing in Sally’s classroom. They both graduated from CU Boulder.

“I met Sally who was teaching in Commerce City,” explained Mark Tameler. “I started volunteering just to see what teaching might be like, in her classroom. I decided that sounded pretty interesting, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do. A lot of it had to do with meeting Sally and kind of being influenced by what she was already doing.”

After teaching at a few other schools in the Denver area, the pair made the move to Salida with their toddler aged son, Sam. Mark Tameler worked at the middle school at first, teaching 5th grade, before transferring over to Longfellow Elementary as a 3rd grade teacher, when at the same time, Sally began teaching at the middle school.

“I’ve taught everything 3rd through 7th, and 3rd grade, I think is the best grade I ever taught,” said Mark Tameler. “I still enjoy it. The kids are still silly and pretty innocent, and they work really hard. They pretty much do what you ask them to do without a lot of problems, and it’s a fun age. They love to learn, and they like to be at school.”

Sally Tameler moved over to Longfellow shortly after working at the middle school. She taught 2nd grade for eight years and then transitioned to being the art teacher.

“This is my 6th year in art,” recounted Sally Tameler. “It’s just a busier day. When you’re a regular classroom teacher you can sit and do a reading group or read aloud, and I’m on my feet on the concrete all the time where I have 10 minutes between classes. It’s just busier and more physically active. It’s been fun. I like knowing all the kids in the school and seeing the kindergarteners all the way through 4th grade and how they progress.”

The relationships formed with students are arguably the most rewarding aspects of teaching. When in the process of building the new elementary school, Sally Tameler toured other schools across the state to collect ideas for the new design.

“Mrs. Lengerich, Mr. Estel, and I went down to visit a school where we were just peeking our heads into each classroom, and when we sat down with the principal, he said one of their teachers said that I was their former teacher. This had been years and years and it was one of the kids I had in my 3rd, 4th, 5th grade combination, Jackie. She was a teacher, and it was just so fun to see one of your kids as an adult and as a teacher.”

Leaving the profession after teaching for over 27 years isn’t easy for any well loved and appreciated teacher.

“Some of our friends are the people we work with and the people we hang out with, but I’ll miss the kids for sure,” said Mark Tameler. “I have a great class this year, and I’m so fortunate that this is a super fun class. I’ll end with some good memories. But I’ll miss the people we have worked with over the years that aren’t even there anymore that we made good friendships with.”

The pair are planning on sticking around Salida, at least for now, and keeping a house for their son Sam to come back to after college if he ever needs it. They hope to do some traveling around the country and get out of town for a month or two during Salida’s renowned windy spring season.

Sally and Mark Tameler will be missed by their coworkers and the Longfellow community and have been positive influences in many students’ lives over the years they have been teaching in the district.

“Just laughing and trying to make things fun is what you have to do because you’re working with kids,” said Mark Tameler. “I think I’ve changed a lot in that way. You start off teaching, and you think you’re going to do things a certain way and kids definitely change you over time for the better.”