Celebrating 2017 D123 Retirees

Lori Gloodt

26 years in District 123
Sward School

What is something you are proud of in your career?
“I am proud that we were able to create a school that we would want our own children to attend.”

What are you looking forward to most in retirement?
“Looking forward to spending more time with my family.”

One lesson you learned during your time at D123?
“Fair and equal aren’t the same things; everyone deserves individualized attention and personalized solutions within a compassionate framework that is both strong and flexible.”

Joe Fajman

19 Years with District 123
OLHMS/Hannum

What is something you are proud of in your career?
“I am so very proud when former students stop me in a local store or just in the neighborhood and share reflective thoughts from their past experiences in my classes.  The former students all appear grateful for the time spent in school and appear genuinely interested in my life and whether or not I am still teaching.  Many actually reiterate some form of a lesson I attempted to teach them, and they often share how these lessons have helped them with their current endeavors.”

What are you looking forward to most in retirement?
“I am most looking forward to time is my own as I retire.  I have actually loved the past 40 years of teaching because it has been a dream job.  By a “dream job” I mean that it is a profession in which I have been paid to do the things I absolutely love!  I am also looking forward to not having to dream anymore because now my dream has become my living reality. So, I am Living the Dream.   My new dream will be spending quite a bit more quality time with my grandkids and family…my wonderful bride, my children, and my step children.”

What is one lesson from your time in D123 that you will take with you?   “This is a tough one to answer.  I have a lifetime of service to our community. I believe that I am so fortunate to be included as a member of our esteemed group of so many marvelous professionals who make up our district.  The one message that resonates with me is the fact that we all are ultimately loyal to public service.  This message is constantly and continuously portrayed through all of the services our students provide toward others.  This Global Studies message surpasses any Science lesson, or Communication Arts lesson. Now, about life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.  Here is what I take with me…I plan on just doing good!”

Jane McCormick

23 years Kolmar & Sward (3 years), Hometown School (20 years)

What is something you are proud of in your career?
“Training and teaching Reading Recovery.””Working on the committee that developed the Early Literacy Foundation (ELF) Program that eventually became our full day kindergarten program.”

What are you looking forward to most in retirement?
“Spending more time with my grandchildren and visiting Disney World during the school year!”

Valerie Matkaitis

5 years assigned to D123 as an AERO employee, and then 15 years in district McGugan/OLHMS

What is something you are proud of in your career?“I am proud of my special education students. They do the hard work of trying to overcome individual obstacles to learning that many students do not.”

What are you looking forward to most in retirement?
“I have no specific plans except to have some time to travel, spend time with my grandchildren and be on the lookout for opportunities and adventures I might not otherwise have had the time to explore.”


What is one lesson from your time in D123 that you will take with you?
“Get to know and enjoy the people you work with and the students you teach. Everything else is the small stuff, be patient and take it in stride because it is likely to change next year, (or next month, next week or even tomorrow).”

Marilyn Nowak

44 Years in D123
Beginning in 3rd grade at Kolmar, moving to 6th grade at Clark, 6-8 grade Language Arts at Covington, 3rd grade Sward, Self-Contained and Resource Learning Disabilities at Hometown, Resource LD at Hannum, and returning to Kolmar in 5th grade.

What is something you are proud of in your career?
“I am proud of the connections I have made with students and their families. Also for inspiring children to be the best they can be.”

What are you looking forward to most in retirement?
“I am looking forward to traveling, volunteering, and having flexibility in my daily activities.”
One lesson you learned during your time at D123?”Look at change as a character builder and a challenge to become a better person/teacher.”

Nancy Reilly

23 in District 123
Brandt/Libraries, all the K-5 buildings

What is something you are proud of in your career?
“That I was able to teach & live in the same community most of my life.”

What are you looking forward to most in retirement?
“Reading, traveling, cooking more & spending time with my family.”

What is one lesson from your time in D123 that you will take with you?
“District 123 has a dedicated hard working staff.”

Additional Staff Retiring this Year:

  • Paula Constantine
  • Kitty Baldi
  • Mary Pat Coughlin
  • Jane Kneeland
  • Phyliss Eklin
  • Jane Savaglio
  • Denise Pesek
  • Sharon Smith