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Wishing retirees all the best

The Board of Education recently recognized and honored those who will retire at the end of this school year, each having contributed to the district in so many different and positive ways. These retirees represent a combined total of over 244 years of service to Woodridge School District 68!


Peter Ceresa, 5th grader teacher, John L. Sipley

Pete has been with Woodridge 68 for 14 years, and all of them teaching 5th grade at Sipley, except for his first year when he taught 2nd grade (also at Sipley). One of his fondest memories is last year’s autumn celebration. As part of the festivities, students had the opportunity to smash a pie in their favortite teacher’s face. Pete volunteered for the pie smashing booth and subsequently found whipped cream on his head and in his hair for days afterward. Pete will miss the comradery of the Sipley staff the most; everyone pulling together and being there for you when you need it. He is most looking forward to working a job where he don't have to take work home with him.


Cheri Chesney, Inclusion Teaching Assistant, William F. Murphy

Cheri’s fondest memory is being able to work in the school that her daughters attended and with some of the best teachers in the district. She worked her entire 27-year Woodridge 68 career at Murphy, starting when Murphy was then known as Woodridge School. Cheri will miss working with the students she has bonded with and the teachers she has become good friends with over the years. She is looking forward to spending more time with her family, especially her granddaughter. Cheri is also looking forward to the new adventures ahead and traveling with her husband.


Barbara Connors, Secretary/Registrar, Thomas Jefferson Junior High

After four years as an inclusion teaching assistant at Meadowivew, Barb spent the rest of her 21 years with Woodridge 68 as secretary & registrar at Jefferson before retiring in August. Her fondest memories of her time in the school district include the kindness of teachers, administrators, district office staff, students and parents who made it a pleasure to work in the district. She also enjoyed band and chorus concerts, musicals and athletic games, witnessing our teachers and coaches bringing out the best in students. For Barb, The most difficult thing about retiring was leaving her friends and co-workers. She also misses the interactions she regularly had with students and parents as well as the daily routine. Barb is thankful for not having to set an early alarm as well as having more time to travel, garden, read, and visit with family and friends. She also plans to pursue some volunteer opportunities after enjoying some time off.


Laura Hester, 4th grade teacher, William F. Murphy

With the exception of one year at Meadowview, Laura spent her entire 35-year career with Woodridge 68 at Murphy; the last 25 of which she taught 4th grade. Because of this she has so many great memories. She loves it when her former students come back to visit. Laura says it makes her feel old, but she gets so excited to see them as teenagers and college students. She will miss all of her friends at school; people who have become her second family. Laura is looking forward to not being on a schedule - traveling when she wants, using the restroom when she needs to. She is also looking forward to spending more time with her grandbabies.


Vanessa Johnson, Secretary, Jefferson

Vanessa started as a lunchroom supervisor at Murphy for a couple of years before becoming a secretary at Jefferson. After 15 years with the school district, she has so many fond memories of her time at Woodridge 68 that she can’t pick just one favorite. Vanessa does miss seeing her friends at school but is excited to be moving on to her next adventure. Vanessa retired in September and we thank her for her service to Woodridge 68.


Susan Oczkowski, kindergarten teacher, Meadowview

Sue taught classes in kindergarten through 4th grade at Meadowview. Her fondest memory of working in Woodridge 68 is the relationships she built with families and their children. She loved when a former student or parent would come back to visit and tell her how much their child loved to read because of a certain author or illustrator she had read to them. She will miss the friendships she made with colleagues as well as the students and hearing them call her name in the hallway, “Miss O., Miss O.” Sue looks forward to spending time on her personal health and plans to volunteer in her local community. Sue retired in January and we thank her for over 32 years of service to Woodridge 68.


Bradley Payne, elementary band director, District-wide

Brad’s fondest memories and the things he will miss most are the kids that he’s worked with throughout his 21 years as Woodridge 68’s elementary band director. He is looking forward to what lies ahead.


Roseann Schneider, 3rd grade teacher, Goodrich

Roseann started her 33-year career in Woodridge 68 as a language resource teacher before quickly moving into a classroom. Over the years, she has taught 3rd, 4th and 6th grade, all at Goodrich. Roseann has enjoyed working with awesome teaching partners through the years, and she will miss those awesome teachers as well as the students. In her retirement, Roseann is looking forward to sleeping late, traveling and visiting family.


Susan Siemek, Inclusion teaching assistant, Edgewood

Susan started as a lunchroom supervisor at Goodrich, but spent most of her career in Woodridge 68 as an inclusion teaching assistant at Edgewood. She retired over this past summer and we thank Susan for her 20 years of service to Woodridge 68.


Kathleen White, 2nd grade teacher, Meadowview

After one year as a TA, Kathy has been a classroom teacher at Meadowview for 25 years, teaching 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th grade. Her fondest memories of her time in Woodridge 68 are collaborating with her fellow grade level teachers, whether it was curriculum writing, or just monthly meetings sharing ideas and getting to know such smart, creative teachers. Kathy will miss teaching and the students; and she will miss her coworkers who made her laugh and smile every day. She is looking forward to spending more time with her family and friends. Kathy and her husband will eventually be moving to Colorado as soon as he retires.