SPFHS bids farewell to retiring educator Mary Kate Schiller


photo by Ian MacPherson; artwork by Ian MacPherson

Ian MacPherson

As senior graduation draws near, so does the time for retiring educators to depart from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. Five members of the SPFHS community will be embarking on an exciting new stage of their lives: teachers Laurie Call, Suzanne Doliber, Janet Ramos and Mary Kate Schiller, and supervisor Vincent Turturiello.
Schiller reflects on her experience at SPFHS and looks to the future.
Q: How long have you been working at the High School?
I have worked at the High School for 13 years. I actually started when my eldest daughter was a freshman, so we began high school together.
Q: What were you doing before you started working here?
I have been teaching since 1981, in a Catholic High School, a middle school in Elizabeth, and I actually did a long time sub job in 1982, so I have come full circle.
Q: What led you to work here?
The stars aligned and a job became available and I was hired. I have always known that I wanted to be a PE teacher.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job here?
Teaching PE has always been very rewarding to me. Knowing I have touched a student who may not have initially liked PE and made a difference makes it all worthwhile.
Q: Do you have any funny stories from your experiences here or elsewhere?
Nothing outrageous stands out. Teaching PE always allows for fun time with students. I try to stay positive and enjoy laughing. The women’s PE office has had a lot of laughs, we teachers have had a lot of fun together.
Q: What do you plan on doing after you retire?
I’ll be starting the day a little later, doing some gardening, and catching up on some reading. I’ll also be enjoying summer all the way to the end of September. I hear that the beach is beautiful in October.
Q: What are you going to miss the most about SPF?
I’ll miss walking down the hallway, seeing familiar faces, and hearing “Hey, Schill.”
Q: What are you going to miss the least about SPF?
Getting the A.E.D. from the boys locker room to carry it with me to the tennis courts and Charlotte Danielson.
Q: This year’s theme for the Senior Issue is “Pop Art.” What has made your experience here pop?
The people I have worked with have been awesome from beginning to end, especially this last PE Department. Also, teaching in the community I live in has been really fun.
Q: Do you have anything that you would like to add?
I have used this saying after speaking to students:

“It is not about where you start but how and where you finish.”

I would like to thank SPF for a terrific finish.