A Chapter Closed


Pampa High School hosted a retirement for the three employees hanging up their hats, or lanyards rather. Coach Sarah Corse who’s been with Pampa ISD for 17 years, notably bringing the tennis program to the great bounds it’s made. Corse has been in the education field for over 40 years working across Texas in Lubbock, Plainview, and Pampa. Her retirement will be spent with family and traveling. The new coach to fill her spot has not yet been named but Corse has notable assistant coaches over the years, from Coach Polasek to her current, David Moore, who was a former player. From 2006 to 2023, it is no doubt that Coach Corse has made her mark on Pampa and left an amazing program with more to grow behind.

Kathy Gomez has been with Pampa ISD for 28 years, with 27 of those years being at the high school. For the last 11 years, Gomez has worked in the counselors’ office serving as the receptionist and secretary but her duties are far from light.

“I knew it was time, time for new things, a new chapter,” Gomez said. “It’s time for someone with different ideas and new ways of doing things, my way isn’t always right. It has been great for me, but it’s time for someone with new ideas to come in.”

In her retirement, Gomez says she will be doing whatever she wants to.

“Her job is so important, there’s no way someone can take her place,” Margaret Lawyer added.

Gomez starts her work at the beginning of work with TAs and college nights and then into scholarships. Then preparing the awards ceremony and scholarships to be given.

“It takes weeks and we’re always busy, things roll on one thing after another,” Gomez said. “I have some life-long friends that we all travel, we’ve traveled during spring break or summer when I’m off, but now we can go whenever the mood strikes. I’ve got grandkids growing up to follow, and keep up with the things they’re doing, or simply just living a retired life. It was time, hard to walk away but time to do so. I will miss helping the students when it came time for scholarships the most, I feel in a way I help them onto the next step.”

Connie Nicklas serves as an educational diagnostician and has been with Pampa ISD for 36 years. Three years in Hinton, Oklahoma before moving to Pampa, making her time in education 39 years.

“I just knew it was the time and a good time to retire,” Nicklas said. “I can spend time with family, or relax without having a schedule. Living the simple life.”

When first moving to Pampa, Nicklas taught and coached at Pampa Middle School for five years, coaching basketball and track. Then Nicklas taught fifth grade at Horace Mann for another five years.

“The first two positions I held at Pampa were at schools that no longer are around,” Nicklas joked. “The next five years I worked for the district as a reading interventionist, and ever since then have served as a diagnostician.”

The school and its employees become closely bonded after years of working alongside each other, turning out the next generation of leaders. A bond that is made over time is one that isn’t broken or left behind without emotion.

“I think I will miss my colleagues the most,” Nicklas said. “These are people that I’ve grown very fond of and worked with daily. That’s what I will miss the most.”

Mr. Piatt was in attendance to wish the retirees off, and to impart a final message to them before the school year is over.

“We have to say goodbye, which is always hard to do, we’re going to miss all of you a lot. You’ve all held this place together,” Piatt said. “We will miss the leadership and the commitment to our students and staff. I’ve only got to be here eight, but what an amazing group of people to get to do that with. I don’t know what else to say other than thank you. I see some people here that are retired, if they want to come out of retirement we have some spots that have opened up.”

Congratulations and well wishes to all the retirees from Pampa ISD.


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