Niles losing 162.5 years experience

Published 5:20 am Wednesday, May 21, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Six Howard-Ellis Elementary School teachers, with a collective teaching experience of 162.5 years, are retiring.
The six, who all accepted Niles Community School's early retirement buy-out offer and have their own plans for retirement, still have one thing in common: They are grateful for their teaching experience at the school and the relationships they have built with the students and staff there.
Finch, in her time as a teacher, hopes she has been able to give the students something to look back on as they grow older.
Jim Jeschke, who has taught for 34 years at different schools, but mostly at Howard, said Howard has been a special school for him -- not only because he met his wife there during the 1969-70 school year.
Anita Culp has taught second and third grade for 34 years, at Howard Schools and Oak Manor School.
She will miss the staff and the relationship with the children.
Sharon Flanagan, who for 33 years has taught physical education at every school in Niles one time or the other, said she will also miss the children.
But having spent 33 years as a physical education teacher has also given her a chance to see the student population change.
But she also said the students' attention is harder to keep now than it used to be.
Liz Benson, who has taught in Niles Community Schools on and off since 1969, but the last years at James Ellis Elementary School, said she is glad to retire.
Benson said the biggest changes she has seen since she started teaching is the more structured reading programs used in schools today.
But she also thinks there is a bigger gap between the really good students than there used to be.
Marilyn Maurer, who has taught in Niles for 16.5 year,s has been a language and arts consultant for Niles Community Schools.
Although she enjoys being around children, she also likes to teach teachers and see those teachers implement their new learning in the classroom.
Maurer said she has enjoyed working in Niles.
Howard School teacher Brenda Brown, who also held a short speech for the retirees at the function, also wished them well in their future lives.