The end of an era: Staff members say goodbye

The end of an era: Staff members say goodbye

By Ludivynne Canales Posted June 8, 2023

As the school year comes to an end, we must bid farewell to some of our beloved teachers who have decided to move on from our institution. It is a bittersweet moment for both the teachers and students as they part ways after spending countless hours together in classrooms and extracurricular activities.

These teachers have not only imparted knowledge but also molded us into better individuals by instilling values such as discipline, hard work, and perseverance. They have been mentors, friends, and confidants who have guided us through our academic journey.

Ray Parks has been Lowry’s principal for nine years. Before becoming Lowry’s principal he taught Science, PE & Weightlifting at Lowry in the late 1990s when he served as the head football coach. He then became the Vice Principal at Winnemucca Junior High School before transferring to Lowry in 2013. He spent his first year back at Lowry as the Vice Principal in charge of athletics, discipline, and facilities. Then in the Spring of 2014, he was named the new Lowry High School Principal. During this time he served as the Nevada 3A League President and as the 3A Liaison to the NIAA Board of Control.  

“I will miss all of the great teachers and staff members that I have had the pleasure of working with over these last 10 years at Lowry,” said Parks. “I will especially miss the students that make Lowry the best high school in Nevada.”

Mr. Parks has several local businesses that he will continue to run after he leaves Lowry. 

Gregory Scott has been with the district for 27 years. He has taught Computer Technology, Graphic Design, and Office Management at Lowry. 

“I will definitely miss some of the kids. The kids are good, for the most part,” said Scott. “It is just time to go do something else and go be old.”

After leaving, Scott plans to enjoy his summer gardening, golfing, and grilling.  After that, he will look at creating a small shop business producing widgets of some sort. He is also looking forward to a whole hunting season and fly fishing in his old stomping grounds in North Idaho. If that doesn’t pan out, he will settle for being rich and famous.

Mr. Don Walton started teaching at Lowry in the 1999-2000 school year and will leave after 24 years of Service. Walton was a CTE teacher and the Athletic Director at Lowry. 

“I have been blessed to work with great students throughout the years,” said Walton. “I will miss the students. Additionally, I will miss the relationships I had with administrators, coaches, and volunteers in the work I did as athletic director for the last ten years.”

After departing, Walton plans on spending time with his family.     

Paul Merkel has been at Lowry for one year. He taught Introduction to Physics and Biology.

“There are two things I will miss most about being a Buckaroo,” said Merkel. “The first is the students. There are some amazing individuals who excel both in the classroom as well as in their extracurricular activities. The second is the “Winnemucca Strong” mentality that both students and adults take pride in on a daily basis.”

After leaving, Merkel plans to return to his true love of Physical Education where he has spent 20 of 27 years as a teacher.

Sheldon Bergenheier has been at Lowry for five years. He started at Lowry in October 2018 as a groundskeeper, taking care of all of the sports fields. In October of 2022, he became the aide in the In-House detention room and has been since.

“I will miss most students of course,” said Bergenheier. “I’ve been following Lowry athletics since before my own kids were even born, and that is a big part of the community. I will miss that as well.”

After parting with Lowry, Mr. Bergenheier plans on moving to Colorado and spending time with his family and friends. 

Chelsea Cabatbat has been at Lowry for six years. Cabatbat taught special education and transition. She helped students create post-secondary education plans. 

“I will miss my students and the amazing fun staff at Lowry High School,” said Cabatbat. “I will also miss my best friend for the last 12 years, Ms. [Virginia] Parker.”

After leaving Lowry, Cabatbat plans to be the Dean of Students at French Ford Middle School. She will continue to coach at Lowry.