Veteran teachers to retire in six weeks

Brian Chang , Asst. News Editor

All good things must come to an end, and for three Diamond Bar High School staff members, this age-old adage holds true. English teachers Susan Klinger and Deborah Clifford, as well as GLC Jack Galeener will be retiring at the end of this school year.

Klinger, who has taught as DBHS for 21 years, currently teaches English I Honors and English III. In addition, she has also taught sophomore English and worked with other freshman English and history teachers to host special events, like annual Renaissance fairs, for her students.

After her retirement, Klinger says she does not plan to continue in any teaching capacity and will not be returning as a substitute teacher. However, she is currently working on a guide for new teachers and says she will be actively looking for a publisher later in the year.

Fellow English teacher and Yearbook advisor Clifford has been teaching for 29 years, having taught every English course available for freshmen, juniors, and seniors. She has also served as the Yearbook advisor for 10 years. She currently teaches AP/IB Literature and Composition, Yearbook, and English I Honors.

After being around such a variety of students, she says that teaching has given her a different perspective on life.

“When you spend 29 years around teenagers, you have a younger outlook on life and fashion, and I have a great deal more faith in teenagers, not less,” Clifford said. “[However], I always promised myself that I would retire and I would know when, and it’s time.”

Senior Yearbook Editor-in-Chief Mika Pham has been in Yearbook since her sophomore year and has developed a close bond with Clifford.

“I am very happy for her, because it’s a very well-earned retirement and it’s a reward because she’s done so much for the past 30 years for the school and students. I hope that her retirement is restful, and I’m happy for her for that,” Pham said.

Former educator-turned-GLC Galeener has been at DBHS since 1985 and has taught Life and Physical Science, coached varsity football and baseball, and served as a GLC since 1990.

He, along with Kevin Patterson, is currently a GLC for the junior class. Though he is leaving the school for now, Galeener says he may possibly return to DBHS in the future as a fill-in for another GLC because of his love for interacting with the  students.

“I got into this because I love working with kids. I became a teacher because I wanted to work with kids, and I was again, coaching kids, and then evolved into this next stage, becoming a GLC, which is all about working with kids,” Galeener said. “Working with kids, there’s never a dull moment. It’s been a great career.”

Galeener also says that he will miss the administrators he has worked with over the past few years, especially those on the GLC team.

“It’s really been a unique staff, and the GLC team has been fabulous. I’ll certainly miss those daily meetings with the GLCs, and certainly my partner [Kevin Patterson]. We’ve been together for 20 years,” Galeener said.

Though the three have had different teaching experiences,  all agreed that their favorite aspect of teaching throughout their careers was interacting with other staff members and students.

“[Freshmen] come in scared and goofy and they make me laugh,” Klinger said. “[Then] I see them as juniors and they’re not as goofy, more serious. Some of the staff members are my former students, and it’s nice to see them all grown up and as good people.”