Pine View High educator’s 39-year career soon to be ‘in the books’

ST. GEORGE — Matthew Kreitzer, Pine View High School’s longest-serving staff member, is saying goodbye after a storied 39-year career. 

Matt Kreitzer greets guests at his retirement party, Pine View High School, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2023 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

At a special retirement party held in Pine View’s library on April 27, numerous PVHS teachers, former colleagues, former students, current students and other well-wishers came in to express their appreciation.

Kreitzer has been employed at Pine View since the school first opened in 1984. During that time, he spent 21 years as a classroom educator, teaching journalism and Native American studies, along with history and several other subjects. 

Earlier in his career, he coached various Panther sports teams, including girls basketball and track; he also served as the school newspaper advisor from 2001-15.

Then, for the past 18 years, Kreitzer served as the school’s library media coordinator/specialist. 

Pine View Principal Mike Mees called Kreitzer “one of the most dedicated employees that I’ve ever had a chance to work with.”

“He took such good care of those kids in the library,” Mees said. “And his classes, too, when he taught. Every day, he came to do a job, and he did it so well.”

Longtime Pine View High School teacher and football coach Ray Hosner and library coordinator Matt Kreitzer at Kreitzer’s retirement party, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2023 | Photo courtesy of James Kreitzer, St. George News

PVHS educator and longtime football coach Ray Hosner said Kreitzer taught his wife in high school.

“He’s been a pillar and a great leader and role model for all those who have come in contact with him,” Hosner told St. George News. “Definitely a sad day for all of us at Pine View to lose such a great friend. Lunch will not be the same.”

During Thursday’s open house, a slideshow presentation played on a loop, displaying highlights of Kreitzer’s career, along with the school’s history, in words and pictures. 

Kreitzer said that he’s been the staff member tasked with creating such presentations for retiring teachers for many years. This time, he did the honors for himself.

The presentation concluded with a series of chronological slides showing Kreitzer’s yearbook portraits over the years. He also had on display 25 of his activity cards, along with a commemorative quilt and going-away gifts.

Toward the end of the slideshow, Kreitzer thanked the teachers, staff and students he’s gotten to know throughout his career, as well as the five principals with whom he served — John Whatcott, David Broadhead, Marshall Topham, Rick Palmer and Mike Mees — along with school district administrators.

“I’m grateful for Washington County School District for the opportunity to serve the needs of our youth,” he told St. George News. “I have loved my job and my fellow staff members.”

Kreitzer noted that the opportunity to teach all six of his own children at Pine View (Josh, Dave, James, Kalani, Nat and Sam) is something he will always cherish. Kreitzer and his wife Michelle are the proud grandparents of 13 grandchildren.

Matt Kreitzer’s 1984-85 yearbook photo, the first year he taught at Pine View High School, St. George, Utah. | Courtesy photo, St. George News

Kreitzer then expressed his appreciation for “the thousands of students who have walked these sacred halls and bumped shoulders (or fists) with me.” He said he appreciates the many connections with former students through social media and technology.

Mees said the school is in the process of hiring a new library media coordinator.

“As we were preparing to find a replacement for Matt, he was very concerned that whoever took over had the same passion for the school and the same passion for the library, for reading and for all that his media center stood for,” Mees said. “It’s very important for us to keep his tradition alive. As he goes on to retirement, we want to keep the tradition of what he has done here moving forward.”

The last paragraph of Kreitzer’s slide presentation reads as follows:

Thank you, Pine View High School, for your many teachers and staff, the thousands of students who have attended here, your physical building, and the memories I have collected through all these years. And finally, I appreciate being a lifelong member of the Panther Family. May its circle never be broken. 

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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