Retiring Faculty Members Reflect on Years of Service
Some members of the Class of 2000 have had to go to Mundelein High School for more 30 years in order to reach graduation.
Of course, they are not students, but faculty members who have put their life's work into being a part of the school's community.
The members of this year's faculty class include principal John Davis, Rick Foss, Neil McLaughlin, Bernadette Meisenheimer and Gerry Mateja.
Davis began his career 35 years ago, teaching psychology and sociology. He has spent the past 15 years as principal. He has coached football and track.
Davis' greatest satisfaction as an educator is seeing the exuberance displayed by students after they have accomplished an important goal, whether it is winning a game or receiving a 5 on an AP exam.
The biggest change Davis has seen at Mundelein was the ending the tracking system, called X, Y and Z, which years ago divided the student body into remedial, average or accelerated level based on their performance on standardized tests.
"This (ending the system) built a stronger sense of community, he said.
Davis said he has no elaborate retirement plans and merely hopes to "sit in the hammock and enjoy life."
Foss came to Mundelein in 1967 after graduating from Lake Forest College. Foss has been an English teacher for his entire career, though he has never taught a freshman class.
He has also coached just about every imaginable team. Foss' resume includes stints with softball, football, boys and girls basketball, baseball, track, and for the past 14 years, golf. His favorite sport to coach was football, but in terms of a favorite memory, Foss can not pick a single one.
"I've had so many enjoyable experiences with young people that it's impossible to choose one," he said.
In his eyes, Mundelein's biggest change occurred when the school went to the block schedule.
Foss will move to North Carolina this summer, and he hopes to dabble in a new career outside of education.
If one looked into the science hallways during the past 37 years, they would find McLaughlin. …