As Susan Montemayor calls it, the end of the spring semester of 2020 is like a second graduation.
Montemayor, a familiar face in the Elk Grove High School library and mastery lab, is an alum of EGHS, having graduated in 1976.
But this time, it’s her retirement that will mark her second “graduation,” as Montemayor refers to it. Her presence as an EGHS is one that has left a mark on many of her colleagues and students.
She hasn’t always worked at the Mastery Lab. Montemayor went to Eastern Illinois University where she earned a bachelor of arts and a master’s in political science. She interned at Coles County Treasurer’s Office and was even offered a job there. She made her way to Glenbrook South High School as an evening school teacher before taking a job as a substitute teacher in District 214 in 1984.
It took Montemayor nine years before she got a full-time job at EGHS as a resource assistant in the English and fine arts department in 1993. In 1998, she served the same job in the social studies/world language department, and during the last few years, she has made her home in the mastery lab tutoring center as a coordinator.
Montemayor has also seen everything around her change, from the physical look of the EGHS building to the technology that is now a central part of the learning and teaching at EGHS.
“When I was a student at EG, there was a smoking area outside the back entrance,” Montemayor said. “Students were also allowed to hang out in the courtyard during lunch periods.”
But one of the biggest constants in her mind is “the professionalism and dedication of the entire EGHS faculty and staff,” Montemayor said. “It has been an incredible honor working with these amazing people who daily give 100 percent to the students here.”
Montemayor’s colleague and friend Dawn Ferencz said “it was a joy to work with Mrs. Montemayor. She was a master teacher and colleague.”
Ferencz will miss Montemayor helping her students, chatting about the world and reminiscing about funny incidents that happen throughout their days in the library.
During retirement, Montemayor said she will visit 11 states she has yet to visit — she’s seen 39 — when it’s safe to do so. She said she wants to visit the New England region on a road trip to be a “leaf peeper,” as the New England region is known for its beautiful fall foliage. She also wants to fly to Europe.