A Heart-Felt Thank You for 150 Years of Superb Teaching

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 29, 2000 | Go to article overview

A Heart-Felt Thank You for 150 Years of Superb Teaching


With more than 150 years of teaching experience, the five retiring Libertyville Elementary District 70 instructors stood humbly before the school board.

As board members read the achievements of the teachers out loud, the teachers shifted their weight from one foot to the other, uncomfortable with such recognition.

But after 157 years of teaching combined, Highland Middle School teachers Jane Johnson, Edmund "Ed" Shinton and John Christie along with Rockland physical education teacher Ethylind Griffith and Copeland Manor second-grade teacher Mary Scheie were calling it quits - and it was time to highlight their outstanding accomplishments.

"Is that all true?" Johnson asked, bringing laughter to the group as she shared her well-known wit and humor.

The somewhat unconventional sixth-grade mathematics teacher, who spent 34 of 35 years teaching in Libertyville, wants to be remembered by her students as a teacher who cared.

"I hope my former students will remember that I really cared about them and they could approach me with any problems they had whether or not they related to math," Johnson said. "I also hope they had fun with my silliness in the classroom, and some of my unconventional teaching methods."

In retirement, Johnson will visit her children, travel and golf.

It's impossible to have played sports in Libertyville without spending some time with Shinton, Highland Middle School athletic director. He devoted his 33-year teaching career to Libertyville.

"I've been here so long, Brett Butler (famous former major league outfielder) played basketball for me," Shinton said.

Through the years, Shinton developed an athletics policy for the district that guaranteed all children making a school team would play. He enforced in his students that good grades and good athletics went hand in hand.

In retirement, Shinton will fish, spend time at his Wisconsin cabin and cook for his wife.

The best part of Christie's job has been watching young musicians develop and seeing how they mature their skills as young adults. …

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