Hargreaves ending 38-year career

Published 3:39 am Monday, May 5, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- After 38 years, Roger Hargreaves, 61, is retiring from Niles Community Schools.
Originally a hometown boy who at school excelled in basketball, football and golf, he returned to Niles in 1965 after receiving his bachelor's and master's degree from Central Michigan University that same year.
His first teaching position was teaching physical education and health at what was then called Ring Lardner Jr. High School.
And after so many years, as both a teacher and an administrator in the school system, he knows that sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest impressions in life.
Asked what some of his most memorable moments during his time as a teacher and administrator in the school district has been, he brought up an episode that once happened with a young student.
He believes she was grateful for having a friendly face that recognized her among the many other students at the school.
He remembers the great feeling of pleasure that incident, and others like it, have given him throughout his life in the school system.
But Hargreaves himself, although wise enough to recognize the importance of the smaller things in life, has achieved monumental things in his own life -- such as marrying his high school Sweetheart, Luann, and staying married to her for what seems to be almost a lifetime.
The two have been married for 40 years and will celebrate that monumental milestone in August this year.
Together they have raised two sons, Paul and Dan, who have added six grandchildren to the family equation.
Paul, Roger said, graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in hotel management and and hospitality services while Dan graduated from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., as a lawyer, who currently works for the FBI.
While Roger is a father and a grandfather, he lost his own father at the fairly young age of 12, he said.
His main influence in life, apart from his mother, and the ones who filled the void that came from not having a father, ended up being school and teachers, he said.
And that influence, he said, propelled him into a life as an educator, never once in doubt education was to be the main path of his life.
Being an educator has kept the 61-year-old refreshingly young, however, and his explanation to that is simple.
Having changed and rolled with the ever-changing student population, however, he said some things are more difficult to adjust to than others.
As an administrator and teacher, he has been able to get the perspective on both sides.
What he believes is the most important thing to keep a school district, and the schools within it, alive and vibrant, is to maintain traditions.
And the fact that so many graduates come back to Niles to teach, he sees as a compliment to the school system here.
When almost all is said, and there could have been said much more about Roger, he and Luann are excited about his retirement.
Roger said he plans to take a year off and see how he gets along with retirement before making any further decisions what to do with his retirement years.