Matt Koehler ‘15
As another school year winds down, it’s time to give a final thank-you to the retiring teachers who have put a staggering total of 99 years of service at Saint Ignatius: Mrs. Betz, Ms. Lachvayder, Father Styles, and Mr. Surrarrer have all helped students grow and thrive, adding to what the school is today.
All four teachers have put in countless hours teaching students in and out of the classroom: Mrs. Betz, who has taught freshman and senior English for 29 years; Ms. Lachvayder, who has taught chemistry since 2003; Mr. Surrarrer, who has taught chemistry, physics, and biology for 29 years; and Father Styles, who has taught theology, English, and Latin since 1968 and even served as principal in the Eighties–they will all be dearly missed.
Whether they’re leaving Saint Ignatius to retire (or to teach elsewhere, as Fr. Styles will be at Walsh Jesuit High School next fall), these teachers will miss the sense of community and the interaction with Ignatius’s unique faculty and staff. Asked what she would miss most, Mrs. Betz summed up the feelings of the four teachers saying, “I’ll miss the students, the faculty, the staff … This is really more like a family. It’s been a very special group of people.” Ms. Lachvayder will especially miss the joy of seeing the students grow. She loves seeing students “mature in their ability to think analytically and creatively with confidence,” and enjoyed helping them thrive “outside the confines of the classroom and explore the world” in extracurricular activities.
While they’ll miss their days working here, the teachers retiring will definitely enjoy the luxury of time to relax and be with their families. “When you’re a teacher, you have so many pressing responsibilities,” says Ms. Lachvayder, “and you don’t have as much time for leisure and family and friends, and have to give up a lot.” She’s especially looking forward to more time to travel, planning to explore Ireland and visit friends in Montana later in the year. Although she also has plans to travel, Ms. Betz says she’ll still be around, playing the piano at 7:20 Mass whenever she can.
After their hard work, these teachers will certainly miss Ignatius, but also look forward to starting a new chapter in their lives. Ms. Lachvayder put it well: “You know they say take time to smell the flowers? Well, I sure hope to smell a lot of flowers.”