Thomas O’Toole is an industrial tech teacher who started at WGHS in August of 2002. About his years at WGHS, O’Toole said “Talk to the students; don’t talk to me, because it’s not about me.”
Senior Anthony Brown said, “He’s a great teacher because he really cares about the students and is willing to work with everybody and wants the best for everyone regardless of disabilities or situations.”
In her 25 years at WGHS, Jeanette Hencken has taught chemistry, physics and forensic science.
To Hencken, Webster is “a place where the people are caring and supportive of each other and I’ve always been happy to come in every day.”
“She really cares about the students and wants to make sure that we’re engaged and if we take an interest in what we’re doing she makes sure that we learn everything we want to learn,” junior Mel Carroll said.
Hencken doesn’t have definitive plans for retirement but said there are lots of things on her bucket list.
Math teacher Amalia Golcynski has been at WGHS since 1992 and will retire after 26 years.
“I’ve spent most of my life working here,” Golcynski said. “It becomes your family, your way of life.” Once she retires, Golcynski plans to move to Phoenix.
Senior Page Kimzey, who took Golcynski’s Algebra 1 class her freshman year, said, “She’s super organized and consistent in the work she gives and the way she runs her class.”
Principal Dr. Jon Clark has decided to retire about being at WGHS for 29 years.
“I love this job, I always say it’s the best job around; I just want to spend more time with my family,” Clark said.
Clark isn’t sure about what he is going to do after his retirement other than visiting his parents house at the Lake of the Ozarks.
“I’m going to be a little patient thinking about what I want to do,” Clark said.
The new principal will be Dr. Matthew Irvin.
“Dr. Clark has been such a confidant and such a helpful person in our department for so many years,” senior Meredith Grimm-Howell said about Clark’s involvement with the drama department. “He’s been so collaborative with (drama teacher Todd) Schaefer with what we need to grow and be able to make good art as a department.”
“I remember my first year here… you kind of always remember you’re first year at someplace,” social studies teacher Michael Reinhardt said. Reinhardt came to WGHS in 1999 and has taught mostly US History and World History.
“He was a fun teacher,” senior Isabel Burke said. “He was cool and he joked around but he could also be serious.”
“I’m going to coach basketball,” Reinhardt said about his plans. “I don’t really even call it retirement. I’m just going to do something else.”
About WGHS, Reinhardt said, “I think it’s a great high school. I really enjoyed working here and I think we have excellent students. I think the students really care for each other, and that’s one thing I’ll always remember.”
Librarian Kathy Swanson will retire after 14 years at WGHS.
“My favorite memories are of the kids who have grown and have reached their potential,” Swanson said.
Swanson described WGHS as a “microcosm of life” and as its “own little world.”
“She’s been great. I’ve just been able to go down and talk to her a lot,” junior Tori Watson said about Swanson.
Librarian Sandra Coblitz hired Swanson in 2004.
“She’s not only my supervisor, she’s my friend, and not everyone can say that about where they work,” Swanson said about Coblitz.
Suzanne Fillion has been a math teacher at WGHS since 1996, teaching Honors Precalculus, Algebra II and Algebra I. She has also been the department chair for 14 years.
Carroll currently takes Fillion’s Algebra II-Trig class.
“She’s a really good teacher and she cares about each individual student and how they’re doing in the class,” Carroll said.
“It’s been a place where I enjoyed getting up and going to work every day,” Fillion said about her time at WGHS. Once she retires, she plans to hike, bike, play pickleball, travel, write and volunteer.
Science teacher Greg Wieland has taught for 21 years, 20 of which were at WGHS.
“I’m retiring because well, I can, and also I want to have a new adventure,” Wieland said. That adventure includes more gardening and traveling.
Wieland’s favorite memory of teaching at the high school is from last year.
“I had a very bad spell, and some students actually made shirts for me, and it was the sweetest thing. They spent a weekend making supportive shirts, and I almost cried,” Wieland said.
English teacher Deborah Bohlmann has been at WGHS for 11 years. Currently she teaches Contemporary Literature and Honors World Literature, but she has taught other classes in the past.
Junior Nessa Dorsey took Bohlmann’s Honors World Literature class her sophomore year.
“We not only learned traditional things regarding English, like books and grammar, but we also learned about the world around us and issues in the world,” Dorsey said.
During retirement, Bohlmann hopes to continue doing social justice development with teachers, reading, and writing.
“It is really rewarding to be a part of a school that has such as strong sense of its tradition and identity, and it’s really an honor to be part of this great legacy,” Bohlmann said.
Dr. John Raimondo will retire after 28 years at WGHS.
After he retires, Raimondo hopes to spend more time with family, take a course in Italian so he can go back to Sicily, where his grandparents are from, and learn more about electricity and plumbing.
“I just want to be outside, ride my bike, running, walking, hiking, all kinds of stuff,” Raimondo said.
Leigh McKittrick has been Raimondo’s for three years and said, “His presence is just very calming. He doesn’t get frazzled or frantic or overwhelmed. No matter what the situation is he’s just a calming force.”
Raimondo will be replaced by Dwight Kirksey, who is currently the intern associate principal.
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Categories: Senior Issue