The End of an Era for Four Teachers at North


By Morgan Chairs

As the year slowly comes to an end teachers are figuring out their plans for the school year. While some have the intent to return next year, other teachers are planning their futures for after they retire. This year there are four teachers who are retiring.

Dawn Hahn

Dawn Hahn has been teaching at North for about 19 years. She teaches Project Lead the Way, also known as PLTW, and Biomedical Science. Originally, Hahn had no plans of becoming a teacher, it was the last thing on her mind. That is until she got to high school and her teachers changed her mind.

“I actually wanted to be a firefighter for a long time, wanted to be a police officer for a little while and then decided I wanted to be a teacher,” Hahn said. “I had really good examples and really good role models. That made a difference for me, in what I saw for myself.”

The one thing Hahn loved the most about teaching was the relationships she made with her students and memories she shared with them.

“My best memory is the relationships that I’ve formed with my students along the way,” Hahn said. “I have a a lot of students that I can say that when talk to them, and the stories that they remember about, about the things we did in class, not necessarily the topics that we were talking about, but the things they learned that they took with them to apply to life.”

Hahn’s decision to retire was mostly based on the fact that she wants to spend more time with her family and relax.

  “So, I plan on being a huge football fan for at least two more years,” Hahn said. “I’m still a huge basketball fan. I’ve coached basketball my entire life. So, I hope to still be around to be a fan in the stands for the girls and boys basketball teams. I’m hoping to be a volleyball fan and be able to watch [my daughter] Kate play all of her volleyball games. Without teaching, I don’t have to worry about schedule conflicts and not being able to make any of those road trips.”

Barbra Chaperlo

Special Education Paraprofessional Barbra Chaperlo has been working at North for 13 years. Chaperlo enjoyed the time she spent with her students and loved when she could lend a helping hand.

“I like that connection,” Chaperlo said. “When kiddos can’t get it and then you will you’ll get the upper leg things, and then they do, that’s just such a buzz for me, and the fact that I like to see. I like to witness innocence in a day, that sometimes we as adults get so wound up in all of our confusion, and sometimes a kiddo can just sum it up in a phrase.”

Chaperlo made the hard decision to retire because there’s so much more she wants to do, like using the time to build a garden and even try out some new hobbies she has prepared.

“I just got some more things that I need to get done. I’ve had 10 peers my age die within a year of retirement,” Chaperlo said. “I’m building a flower garden, I’ve got a scrap room, I’ve got a sewing room, I’ve got a puzzle room and I fixed my house up so that I’ve got a senior citizen nursery school. If I get tired, I just go to another activity corner.”

Patty Bartell

Patty Bartell has been teaching math at North for 32 years. This year Bartell is teaching Intermediate Algebra, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus, all virtually.

“I like math, I enjoy it,” Bartell said. “I just wanted to show other people how interesting it is whether they think that or not.”

Bartell’s love for teaching simply stems from the reactions she gets from her students.

“[I like]To see a student’s eyes light up,” Bartell said. “Showing that they understand something. Or when they say ‘Oh, I understand’, that type of thing. Just to have students understand it is my favorite thing.”

Bartell’s plan for retirement is simply to relax and get ready for the incoming family member.

“I want to travel,” Bartell said. “I’m going to be a grandma so that will keep me busy and I get to sleep later.”

Joseph Breen

Joseph Breen teaches physical science. He has been teaching for 21 years.

“Teaching, it’s just about being around people and relationships and dealing with people. Because really, you can learn anything on the internet and YouTube and teach yourself,” Breen said. “Once you’re interested in being a teacher it’s just about being around people and being able to deal with people.”

Breen’s main reason for retiring is simply for more time for the more important things. Retiring means Breen can enjoy simple free time and the opportunity to do anything.

“Time is more important than money now,” Breen said. “I’m 55 years old. Time, that’s the reason I’m retiring. Time is far more valuable than the money is. I want to spend more time with my family like my kids. Not be so rushed trying to work and do other things. I just want to concentrate on the other things.”