As the year comes to an end, many teachers, counselors and other staff members at Rider High School are focusing on finishing this year and preparing for what the next school year will bring.
But for three kind ladies who have all worked more than 25 years at Rider, this is not the case.
Counselor Jill Lauck, art teacher Nancy Kizis and attendance clerk Ellen Rigsby have decided to retire this year. Each of them has their own unique story and things they will miss most about their time here.
Jill Lauck started off as a French and English teacher at Rider as her first job. After growing with her students, she realized that she wanted to do more than teach.
“When I was in the classroom, I had kids that were in trouble or getting kicked out of their house,” Lauck said. “I realized that I was really interested in helping them with their family issues and things like that.”
Finishing her 29th year at Rider and her 23rd as a counselor, Lauck will miss her students and fellow coworkers and hopes to leave behind a positive influence and encouragement for her students to “reach for the stars and their dreams.”
Nancy Kizis has been teaching art for 27 years. After being a freelance artist and going through a divorce, Kizis and her two children relied on friends for a place to stay. Fortunately, she was able to get a job at Rider and help children explore art and its importance in life.
“I really hope I have helped students appreciate artwork and experience the joy of making art and how it is valuable for every human being,” Kizis said.
Wrapping up her 26th year working at Rider, Ellen Rigsby is someone who most students do not get the privilege to meet. She mainly works behind the scenes as an attendance clerk and in the truancy department. She recalls her favorite traditions and moments.
“I like the band and everybody supporting each other,” Rigsby said.“ I love the football games and bringing everything back to the 70s.”
Most of all, Rigsby has loved working with her colleagues and hopes they remember her as someone who is “fun and easy to get along with.”
All three said they’d miss the people at Rider the most, and all three are looking forward to new adventures they can explore in their newfound free time.
Lauck said she wanted to be a “dog mom” to her cane corso, while Kizis is ready to throw away her alarm clock and make her own art.
Rigsby plans to spend more time with her family. “I’ve got nine grandchildren, and where I always travelled in the summer which was convenient, now I can just travel whenever I want to.”