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The Retiring HHS Staff on Their Past, Their Present, and Their Future


With the 2023-2024 school year about to come to an end, HHS faces the annual, bittersweet loss that is the graduating senior class. This year, however, the high school has additional changes on the horizon with the retirement of a plethora of well-loved faculty members. These teachers come from many different departments all the way to Mr. A, the principal himself. Now, with their teaching days dwindling, HHS wonders: what’s next? Three retirees share their insights.

Leaving a job one has had for more than a decade is a major milestone and demands an amount of confidence in one’s future. Mr. Rosner, a beloved member of the science department who teaches chemistry, proudly states that he is “very excited. It’s a major milestone in life.” To him, 2024 is a perfect year to retire teaching, and more importantly, it is a great year to pick up his hobbies and passions full-time. 

Ms. Repp, the school social worker, finds herself feeling a tad more wistful. She states, “there are times [she] feels [she] will very much miss HHS, the students, and the faculty. [She] is also excited for the new things that await.” 

Ms. Hardesty, HHS’s assistant principal, who is retiring halfway through the 2024-2025 school year, proclaims that she, too, “will miss the kids here, because the kids are great. [She’s] gonna miss a lot of the staff members and the faculty members. [She’s] been here fifteen years, [she’s] made a lot of friends… but [she’s] excited.” 

Although the retirees are sad to part with the high school community, they all find themselves excited for their future. With one life chapter concluding and another just about to start, the retirees ponder the choices they’ve made in their careers at HHS. When asked if he would’ve done anything differently if given the choice, Mr. Rosner attests that he “might’ve chosen to teach at a higher level, like college or graduate school.” His answer is similar to Ms. Repp’s, who would’ve wanted to further her psychology education and be able to teach others, likely in a higher education setting. Ms. Hardesty’s answer turns out to be an outlier as she chose to answer from a general life advice perspective rather than a career based one. If there was one thing she could’ve done differently, “[she] would’ve saved so much more money.”

Then there’s the question of replacement and the future of the retirees’’ respective departments. When asked if he had any worries about the science department, Mr. Rosner proclaimed that he is “confident that they’ll get someone who’ll do an excellent job. But, [he] thinks you always feel a little guilty and nervous when you leave something, because you worry that someone’s gonna do it right, take over the standards that you’ve set.” 

Ms. Hardesty added that “the district is doing a really good job trying to find competent people, and they will. But the culture is inevitably going to change.” 

Ms. Repp, being the social worker that she is, proclaimed that “[she’s] had to radically accept that it’s going to be what it’s going to be. [She] hopes the mental health care of students remains a priority.”

At the end of all the questioning of the past and the future, there’s one simple question left to answer: what’s next? For Mr. Rosner, it’s picking up a career in appraising, buying, and selling antiques. It’s been a personal hobby and side-hustle of his for a long time now, and with his dawning retirement, Mr. Rosner is excited to make it his full-time job. For Ms. Hardesty, there’s a Vermont lake house and a life of exploring the outdoors waiting up ahead. Having been caught up in city life for the past 15 years, she can’t wait to start diving deep into the nature surrounding. Ms. Repp decided to stay close to her zone of comfort, and she is awaiting the start of her journey as a therapist on BetterHelp, which she called her “summer job.” After, she may seek a return to higher education, followed by a career of teaching at a college as she’s always wanted.

Although the loss of so many staff and faculty members seems overwhelming, like every other major life change, it is nuanced. Retirement leaves one questioning the future of their field and the choices they’ve made. It also leaves one excited for the life waiting ahead and excited for dynamic changes in an old routine. Life is all about change, and in accepting this, HHS happily wishes this year’s retirees a rewarding future ahead.

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