High school losing 125 years of experience | PostIndependent.com

High school losing 125 years of experience

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. PearsonGlenwood Springs High School music teacher Jeannie Miller hugs GSHS principal Mike Wells on Friday during the Re-1 retirement party at the Hotel Colorado.

At a recent academic assembly, our principal, Mr. Wells, told the students a story about himself and the three other retiring teachers. He said that they had been working on a puzzle together for the last three months. They were really excited because on the box it said “4-5 years.” This joke is a staple in Mr. Wells’ repertoire, but everyone laughed just the same. It is precisely reasons such as lame jokes (among many other incredible traits) that GSHS will miss the four retiring faculty next year. Mike Wells, Jeannie Miller, Janie Crisp and Bob Brooks have around 125 combined years in public education. Their talents and passion will be hard to replace.

Mr. Wells has been at GSHS for 25 years, and has been the principal for 20 of those years. Wells is optimistic and amiable (not to mention a huge Chicago Cubs fan). He can always be spotted in the halls, talking and interacting with students and faculty. He loves to make people laugh and always has a quick comeback or corny joke on hand. Wells is a believer and an advocate of every student. He is incredibly supportive and attends almost every extracurricular event our school participates in locally, including all state events. He has said that he will really miss the interaction with the students after he retires, but he still plans to be actively involved in the construction of the new school. Of Jeannie Miller’s 32 years of teaching, she has been at Glenwood Springs High School for 20 years. Immediately after coming, Miller established an outstanding choir program. She also deserves a ton of credit for the recent musicals, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Les Miserables,” which were both incredible. One of Miller’s favorite memories of her teaching career is the first time that she took students to All-State Choir. Miller will miss all the people at GSHS, especially the students, who she says make her laugh.Now that Miller is a grandmother, she will have more time to spend with her family in retirement. Janie Crisp has been a librarian for almost 30 years, and 14 have been at GSHS. Crisp is very patient and effective at running the library. She also loves music and theater. She is an outstanding vocalist and has sung with the Mountain Madrigals for many years. Crisp believes that setting goals and having something to work toward are the main keys to success.

After retiring, Crisp said, she will really miss being around the kids all the time but she has many plans to keep her busy. She would love to travel to Europe or purchase an RV and “hit the road.” From the first day students enter Glenwood Springs High School, they hear about Mr. Brooks. Despite a notorious reputation for “scaring” freshmen, Brooks is a jokester. He is witty, engaging and sincere. Mr. Brooks inspires students to strive for their best, believing that a desire to learn, a good work ethic and positive attitude are necessary to be successful.When he’s not grading research papers, Brooks loves to read, take his dogs for walks, and play with his two grandchildren. He also has a passion for Shakespeare.

Brooks is not quite sure what he will do in retirement, but he has talked a lot about traveling more and spending time with his family. The staff, parents and students at GSHS could never thank the four of you enough for all that you’ve done in the school. You have touched hundreds of lives with your dedication and passion. All of you leave massive shoes to be filled. Everyone wishes you the best of luck and prosperity in your retirement. Thank you.Cassidy Willey is a junior at Glenwood Springs High School. She writes a column twice a month for the Post Independent.

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