The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

Their Final Bow

Four Staff Members Retire

Note: This version has been edited from the print version that appeared in the April issue

As we reach into the upcoming spring season all students around the U.S. know what to expect – the end of the school year. Along with the farewell from our 2024 senior class, four staff members will also be saying their goodbyes. From teachers to department chairs, let’s wave our hands to Mr. Gossell, Ms. Traut, Dr. Reiff and Mr. Stevens as they all reach retirement this May.


Sunshine Stevens

Ashley Sanchez

Mr. Ole Stevens has been involved with education for the majority of his life. Beginning his career at Viking Middle School in the Gurnee area, and later moving to LHS– Mr. Stevens has worked as a school counselor, college counselor, and now a 12-month administrator for LHS’s student services, totaling up to a 26 year career. At LHS, Mr. Stevens is responsible for lots of things regarding the schools behind the scenes, “I supervise the counselors, social workers, student records, registration process, the master schedule, academic records (which includes all school records, grades, process, [and] parts of PowerSchool)” said Mr. Stevens. “[I also help with] the records that go on the [student] transcripts [and] the records that go through the college application process, verifying graduation, working with the counselors to make sure that all students have met graduation requirements. There’s a lot of different meetings behind the scenes [as I] support the LSTs, collaborate with team directors in the school administration and the district administration on all strategic goals and initiatives.”

Although Mr. Stevens may not return back to Libertyville for another year or so, he still has various adventurous plans for his retirement.

“I have a lot of house projects [that I want to do], playing more golf, and [I also] will be taking some road trips– I’m gonna call them sunshine tours, to go visit some of my high school and college friends.”


Pickleball Reiff

Ashley Sanchez

Dr. Paul Reiff began working at LHS in 2007, first, as an English teacher and now as the English department chair. With an educational career spanning 35 years, he has worked in a variety of other school settings including Quigley North and Vernon Hills. During his time specifically at LHS, Dr. Reiff has taught almost every English class provided to students.

When looking back on his time at LHS, Dr. Reiff has had an abundance of goals he has wanted to accomplish which he sums up into his values.

“It was always my goal to create an environment where hard working people could thrive with equality, the space to have difficult conversations and returning to LHS’s values.” said Dr. Reiff. “I had tight guide goals [so] we would be as collaborative as possible, and be open to talking about difficult topics instead of avoiding them.”

As we move forward, Dr. Reiff does not have any concrete plans for his future other than the fact that he will not be coming back to substitute.

“At this point in time, I don’t have any plans or desire to come back [and sub]” Dr. Reiff said. “It’s pretty amazing to have this 35 year career in education, but I really want to do something different.”

“I’m looking forward to playing pickleball and watching [over] my grandson. I’m [also] going to be buying a new house and fixing that up. It’ll be nice not having to squeeze [the project] into weekends and spring break, so I can spend a lot of time on it. I can’t wait.”


The Last Gossell

Ashley Sanchez

Mr. Ray Gossell graduated from LHS with the Class of ‘87. As the last Gossell to walk our halls, his family has been involved with Libertyville for around a century.

After pursuing an initial career in illustration, graphic art and as an architectural delineation for 10 years, he later switched to education and began teaching in Schaumburg. 26 years later, Mr. Gossell moved back to LHS where he has since worked with students in jewelry, painting, drawing, printmaking, 2D, 3D and AP art.

Although the teacher who will be replacing Gossell has not been chosen yet, a word of advice he’d like to give is to, “know what excellence is and strive to achieve it.”

“I think all of the teachers in the departments [at LHS] know what excellence is [and] what good performance is.” said Gossell. “They don’t settle for mediocrity. I think that we really try to have kids achieve their best things [and] be able to do things that they don’t even know that they can do.”

During his retirement, Mr. Gossell plans on painting outdoors, building his own rifles and traveling to places across the country, such as North Carolina, to visit his grandkids.

And with his final goodbye, Mr. Gossell would like to say to students, “take risks, make mistakes. Not everything you do is right [and] learn from making mistakes”

“What matters is how you make yourself a lifelong learner by being curious and engaging yourself in the classroom,” he said.


Traveling Traut

Ashley Sanchez

Along with Mr. Gossell, Ms. Cameron Traut is also another LHS Alumni. Graduating in 1982, Ms. Traut went to Valparaiso University in Indiana where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  Additionally, she also gained a certification in school nursing from National Louis University in 1995 and a Masters of Science in Human Services with a specialization in Counseling Studies from Capella University in 2008.

Beginning her career as a nurse at the Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago (Lurie) for 9 years, Ms. Traut, after obtaining her certification, worked at Warren Township High School’s O’Plaine campus for 8 years before finally coming back to LHS where she would retire 20 years later.

When reminiscing on her past years at LHS, Ms. Traut would like to give a special shout out to her colleagues – Mrs. Wasserman, Ms. Carrera-Cruz and all the staff members in the LST’s.

“I couldn’t do what I do without their support, as they [work] side by side [with me].” Ms. Traut said.

With newfound retirement, Ms. Traut plans on sleeping in, traveling to various places in Europe, volunteering at camps, and becoming more involved with her church.

“[School nursing] has always been a passion of mine” Ms. Traut said. “I would really love to sub. I’ll absolutely miss this community and school nursing.”

And finally, for a message to the students, “no dream or desire about something you are interested in pursuing is too big or too small to be proud of and excited about. In other words, go for it. It doesn’t matter what challenge you have or [an] obstacle you feel is slowing you down a bit” Ms. Traut said, “Keep moving forward. Be open to learning from this challenge and lean on the community here at LHS. It’s only gonna make you stronger if you choose to look at it and keep moving forward and use it for good.”

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