The Hesperia Unified School District bid farewell to 30 employees this year.

"Henry Ford once said you don't build a reputation on what you're going to do," school board president Chris Bentley said at a retirement ceremony in the district's annex building May 14. "Each and every one of you has earned (your) reputation."

"I remember every teacher I've ever had, from kindergarten through my last year of high school," Mikayla Pearson, student body president of Hesperia High School, told the crowd. "Your service is irreplaceable and unfathomably appreciated."

Diana Sochor spent 40 years in education, 15 of them in the HUSD, most recently at Sultana High School.

"Retirement is something I've been looking forward to for a long time," she said later. She retired in January, although she's helped out with testing since then. "It's been a very smooth, easy transition."

Sally Sparks, an executive secretary in business services, worked for the district for 18 years, most of them with Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David McLaughlin.

"I've basically been in the same department the whole time," Sparks said. "It won't be quite as busy, but your family is important too; you come in with them and you go out with them."

In addition to familial obligations, Sparks will be keeping busy as a coordinator for Project Linus, which provides blankets to ill and traumatized children.

Her last day at the district will be the end of June.

At the ceremony, the retirees were each given a golden apple trophy as a thanks for their service.

"I believe each and every one of you has left your area of the school district better than you found it," Bentley said.

The HUSD is the Victor Valley's largest employer and employs approximately 2,000 employees. It's also is the valley's largest school district, educating about 21,000 students.

"I truly will miss it," Sparks said.