Graduation Also Means Faculty Retirements

Graduation Also Means Faculty RetirementsGraduation is a loud attention grabbing piece of the school year with students taking the celebrated next step in their lives that’s hailed as a beginning.

A quieter event that occurs in parallel, and often quietly is an ending- the retirement of a faculty member. I’ll write my annual ‘thank the faculty’ post in a few days.

Yesterday- with a prompt from The Star Beacon (Ashtabula, OH), I’d like to call attention and begin the appreciation thoughts of long-time dedicated faculty.

In “Retiring Educator Has A Passion for the Written Word,” columnist Tony Householder chronicles retiring English department chair Bob Archer’s Grand River Academy contributions and his school life.

Archer is wrapping-up 22 years at Grand River having worn several hats- history and literature teacher, coach, and advisor. Archer loves his students; loves teaching. He challenges his students and pushes them to grow. His students respect him and his work.

“My favorite part of this job is knowing that by educating young men, I am turning their lives around,” Archer told Householder.(SB)

But, he’s more than a teacher and I’m convinced that this is what can make some boarding school teachers special. Archer is also a researcher and writer with wide interests.

“He [Archer] has a fascination with anything involving railroads, even publishing a book in 1977 called “Lehigh Valley Railroad: The Route of the Black Diamond.”

‘I’ve been exploring some old railroad stations. I believe I have another book in me.’ he said with a smile.'”(SB)

I find that these sorts of varied interests into places and areas far beyond the routines of daily boarding school life do several things for students who see teachers model this kind of work.

Students see the odd places and small niches into which ones education can lead. Students see that their niche interests may one day take them somewhere. And, students see a faculty member as a professional practitioner.

Practicing what one teaches certainly helps when “why are we learning this?” flies forth from a challenged sixteen year-old.

Make sure you thank your teachers as the end of the year approaches. Especially those who connected you to their subjects or those who showed you the potential of their subjects in the “real world.”

I guess I got to my ‘thank your teachers’ post sooner than I expected.

  • Tom Oneal

    Thanks for featuring this article in your blog… It is worth noting that the author of the article, Tony Householder, is not a Star Beacon reporter. He is actually a junior at Grand River Academy. Just yesterday, he received the Outstanding School Reporter Award from the Star Beacon.  Tony is a Headmaster’s List student, Captain of the GRA soccer team and a 1st Team All-County selection in that sport.  His college search includes Cornell, Case Western Reserve and Allegheny College. Thanks again for your interest in Grand River Academy.


    Tom O’Neal GRA ’71
    Director of Development

    • Bfisher


      I saw that Tony is GRA student in his photo accompanying the column.  The Star Beacon placed him under the “School Columnists” heading so that’s the description I chose.  Thanks for reading.

Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

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