Retirees enjoy remembering Niles school days

Published 3:49 pm Monday, September 15, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- You would think having been colleagues for decades would be reason enough to stay apart.
But a group of retired Ring Lardner Middle School teachers, most of whom have spent most of their working life teaching at that school, don't think so.
On Wednesday the group, which typically consists of between 25 to 35 retirees, had their third buffet lunch this year at Brentwood Assisted Living on South Third Street in Niles.
The group of retirees, who first started meeting in 1990, meet four times a year to socialize, have a bite to eat and talk about the "old days," as one retiree put it.
Among the many retirees, however, was a man still in his best working years.
Youssef Yomtoob took a day of work on Wednesday and drove from a Chicago suburb to hook up with his now retired Ring Lardner colleagues.
Yomtoob, who is the superintendent for Hawthorn School District in Illinois, taught seventh and ninth grade math at Ring Lardner Middle School for 23 years before moving from this area in the mid-80s.
Yomtoob, who left Niles Community Schools as the executive director of personnel -- today human resources -- said its always nice to see former colleagues and talk about the many great times they had together and the numerous challenges they encountered as teachers.
Carol Lans, who taught seventh grade world history, however, is a recent retiree.
Wednesday's lunch was her first with the group.
While getting close to her own retirement, Lans said she looked forward to join the group.
Having been a part of Ring Lardner for more than 30 years, Lans said staff and colleagues at the school over time became like a family to her.
Having retired after last school year, Lans has had time to feel what it's like to not be around her colleagues.
While some of the retirees enjoy taking it easy, Terry Dennison, who taught social studies at Ring Lardner, is beating down another path.
Which is why he is currently pursuing acting.
Which might serve as an indication life is far from over after retirement.