Friday, May 29, 2009

Dwight's Retirement party...

...was held yesterday at his favorite hangout, Lamplighter's, in Palatine. Dwight and I were colleagues for several decades in the Fremd High School English Department. When I was chairman and had the privilege of observing my teachers' classes for evaluation purposes, I always looked forward to Dwight's classes. He has an easy-going demeanor which hides the tough academic expectations he held for his students -- and which they accomplished and exceeded, often to their own amazement. When I built the teaching schedules for the next school year, Dwight always requested accelerated classes and lower-level classes, and had an uncanny ability to relate to both academic extremes, something I still admire. His retirement is a loss for future students at Fremd.

Two of my colleagues still teaching there are Patti and Judy, who surprised me by saying they are the two most-senior teachers with all the retirements the last several years. (It sounded to me like they said it with a wistful desire to be retiring soon themselves, but Fremd still needs their experience and expertise for a few years with the sudden brain-drain of so many retirements.)

Henry and Casey join Dwight in this photo. All three were exceptional teachers and all three are also dedicated Harley riders, and the stories of their summer group excursions (along with three or four other teachers) were always a highlight when school resumed each Fall.

Len and Jeff are two more retirees, as is obvious by their huge smiles and relaxed, stress free countenances. Jeff is part of the Harley "biker" bunch, whereas Len joins me each week as we really bike -- by pedaling, sans engine.

Jim and Rick aren't Harley guys but still enjoy their retirements. Jim sponsored the award-winning school paper for many years and Rick developed many fine musicians through the music department and is himself an exceptional tuba player whose band, the Footstompers, has entertained at many of our parties.

Congratulations, and have a great retirement, Dwight! It will be difficult to replace you.

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