Recognizing retiring staff

Math teacher Karen Fitzsimons and social studies teacher Jerome Hoynes after receiving recognition for their careers at Glenbrook North during the Pride Assembly.

Math teacher Karen Fitzsimons and social studies teacher Jerome Hoynes after receiving recognition for their careers at Glenbrook North during the Pride Assembly.

Nine staff members are retiring from Glenbrook North this school year. Below is information about the experiences of some of these retirees during their time at GBN. Responses were edited for length and clarity. Two retirees requested to not be interviewed for this article. 


Helen C. Catsaros

Paraprofessional Helen C. Catsaros is retiring after 21 years. She has followed a “5-feet rule” since her first year at GBN, greeting everyone who comes within 5 feet of her. Her joy, kindness and spirit were recognized during the 2017 Pride Assembly when Catsaros was awarded with the Spartan Pride Award.


Darlene Daniels

Paraprofessional Darlene Daniels is retiring after 20 years at GBN. One of her favorite memories was watching the marching band play in the hallways during her first week of work.

“To this day, every time the band marches, I have that same feeling of positivity and excitement,” said Daniels. “I would say that is the best thing that has happened to me, and I hope they keep that in school.” 


Eric Etherton

Eric Etherton, assistant principal of student services, is retiring after 31 years in Glenbrook High School District #225. Etherton is a part of Glenbrook Hospital’s Community Advisory Committee. Etherton has also helped to introduce Mental Health First Aid training, the Text-a-Tip hotline and a transition program for students not ready to graduate high school.


Karen Fitzsimons

Math teacher Karen Fitzsimons is retiring after 29 years at GBN. Fitzsimons’ favorite part about teaching has been seeing her students make discoveries on their own or in groups during class.

“It’s just that excitement that happens, and [students] realize that they can be a mathematician and make discoveries for themselves,” Fitzsimons said. 


Jerome Hoynes

Social studies teacher Jerome Hoynes is retiring after 33 years at GBN. Hoynes helped create the World Religions class. Hoynes hopes that he has inspired his students to learn more about history, politics and religion.

“I wanted them to be more curious, more engaged with the news and the things that are happening, to appreciate the history of their own lives,” Hoynes said. 


Terri O’Connell

Attendance specialist Terri O’Connell is retiring after five years at GBN. O’Connell’s favorite part of her job is interacting with students.

“I really like working in the high school because I enjoy hearing and listening to students’ points of view on what’s going on,” O’Connell said.


Jeff Jordan

Science teacher Jeff Jordan is retiring after 33 years at GBN. Jordan is the assistant instructional supervisor for the science department and helped create the Principles of Applied Science & Technology 163 class in the ’90s. He has coached boys tennis for about 30 years, which included state championships in 1999 and 2006. Jordan starts his classes with a joke of the day. 

“I started doing a joke of the day because that was a less threatening way for students to go ‘I don’t get it,’” said Jordan. “And so, you have to do that when you’re learning too. If you don’t get it, you gotta be willing to ask a question.”