Photo courtesy of HR imaging
As the 2020-2021 school year comes to an end, so too, does the tenure of four dedicated North professionals.
English teacher Mary Goska, physical education teacher Jim Farber, geography teacher Elizibeth Mays and counselor Jeff Wagner will retire in June.
Goska began teaching in District 202 in 1996 at Plainfield Central and has taught at three of the high schools. Whether teaching English II Honors to college- bound sophomores or practical writing to seniors who were in danger of not graduating, she always tries to engage her students and teach them the necessary skills needed to succeed.
“ She definitely wants the best for her students,” English teacher Kerrin Vance said. “ We used to teach seniors, and we are opposites when teaching, I am very random, and she is very by the book.”
Fellow English teacher Anne Walsh worked closely with Goska and felt it was a collaborative experience for the both of them. Additionally, Goska took on a leadership role when she was planning curriculum with other English teachers.
“ We would always bounce ideas off each other,” Walsh said. “She was always observant of the tone and atmosphere of her students. When we planned lessons together, she sat at her desk, and I sat at a student desk which was fitting because I learned so much from her.”
Another teacher who has always enjoyed engaging his students and making sure that they get something out of daily physical activity is Farber who has taught at North for 16 years. Throughout the years, he has coached basketball, football and baseball, and he loves seeing students grow through sports.
“I want to have fun with students,” Farber said. “ I like joking with them, I joke with them all the time and I love having fun with them.” I want students who take my class to have fun and know that I want them to get something out of it.”
Farber is not only going to miss his students, but he will miss his colleagues- especially physical education teachers Jobi Bodi and John Darlington. They have spent time together bonding as work friends over the years.
“ He’s a guy that is willing to help out anyone,” Bodi said. “ He does it for kids and co-workers, and he is a genuine guy that will lend a helping hand whenever it is needed.”
Like Farber and Goska, Mays has been at North since it first opened in 2005. Mays began in the science department teaching environmental science before transitioning to social studies and teaching psychology and geography.
“ When she taught psychology, she was very motivated in getting a new curriculum,” social studies division chair Brandie Schlott said. She is somebody that has a lot of different styles of teaching.”
May’s students will miss her geography class because it exposed students to varying cultures and events in the world around them. She teaches students about different countries and territories and how the history of these nations shaped our Earth.
“I’m going to miss her way of teaching,” senior Lorenzo Pardo said. “ I find that she is very knowledgeable about a lot of different countries and different parts of the world.” She has really fascinated me in that particular area.”
As Mays has spent years opening students up to the world around them, North counselor Wagner is always looking to get students out into the world in order to make their own impact on it. He is retiring this year after serving 15 years in the student services department.
“I will be retiring with 35 years of service in education,” Wagner said. “ I taught industrial arts, industrial technology, mathematics, and I counseled at both high school and middle school levels.”
Wagner is somebody who knows when it’s time to be funny, and he knows when it’s time to be serious and he wants every student to be successful throughout their high school careers. He takes pride in getting to know students and getting them in the right direction after their high school years.
“ He treats students as if they were his own kids,” Assistant Principal in charge of Student Services Art Stafford said. He is very good at getting students thinking about what they want to do after they graduate from Plainfield North.”