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Video: Julie Ganzer

November 29, 2017


On Wednesdays, District 25’s Communications Coordinator Adam Harris, catches up with a District 25 retiree. This week he was able to find a teacher who was thrown into action before she had her interview!



Can you start by telling us the details of your career in District 25?

I retired in 2014 after 16, going on 17, years in District 25. I started as a Teaching Assistant and was assigned to classrooms. At first, I worked at Greenbrier and then Olive-Mary Stitt before settling in at Ivy Hill Elementary as a Special Education Teaching Assistant.

I loved my job. The fact that i would go into many classrooms and interact with all students, not just the student that I was assigned to, was so rewarding. I got to help all of the kids! It was the perfect job in that I was home when my kids left in the morning and back in time to help them after school.

I also wasn’t above copying and binding books and putting up hallway bulletin boards to help my co-workers or, as I saw them, my family.


What is your fondest memory of working in D25?

When I was at Ivy I worked closely with a student who had cerebral palsy. I have stayed in close touch with her and have gotten so much joy in seeing her succeed. She currently attends the University of Illinois and wants to be a researcher. She plans to go to graduate school. I still get lunch with her frequently.


Finish this sentence: “I remember when…”

…the entire staff and student body at Ivy Hill would gather at the flagpole on the first day of school to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and then sing God Bless America. That was my favorite thing, every single year. Watching and listening to 500 plus students, kick their year off in unison was perfect!

It was something to look forward to every single year, and the emotions of it were often overwhelming.


What have you been up to since retiring?

I have stayed very active and have become a avid pickleball player and an avid golfer. I love how those sports keep my friends and I close. I stay close with my former co-workers. We get together at least once a month for lunch or dinner. We have so much fun together. 

I also have traveled non-stop with my husband, visiting family, attending weddings, and for pure leisure. We spent three weeks in Europe, and saw Ireland, London, Munich for Octoberfest, Prague, Salzberg, Berlin, and Amsterdam. Italy is up next!


What did you enjoy most about working in D25?

The staff comes to mind, first and foremost, when I think back. We were all just a big team that had each other’s backs. We would celebrate together and we would cry together.

They weren’t just co-workers they were friends. We celebrate birthdays almost every month.


Any message to the Arlington Heights community?

I think District 25 is a gem of Arlington Heights. I think parents of the District and residents of the town really appreciate what they have in SD25. 

AHSD 25 is a gem b/c of its programs, especially for kids with needs. Appreciate the value District 25 adds to Arlington Heights.

Adam Harris