BG school retirees inspired by desires to help children
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:23
Bowling Green Assistant Superintendent Dianne Tache has been in education for 33 years, and that doesn't count her earliest experience teaching a classroom of dolls.
|Lorraine Flick, (from left) principal at Conneaut Elementary; George Offenburg, principal at Ridge Elementary; and Diane Tache, assistant superintendent of BG schools. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
"I wanted to be a teacher since I was young," Tache said.
Tache, Conneaut Principal Lorraine Flick and Ridge Principal George Offenburg were honored Wednesday at a reception in the Performing Arts Center. All three are retiring at the end of the school year. Together they represent more than a century of experience in education.
"I'm not sure there is a replacement for that experience," Superintendent Ann McVey said.
Offenburg represents 43 years of that experience. Even after all those years, when asked what he'll miss most, he still gets emotional. "I wish I could have done more for more kids."
Offenburg, a native of Toledo, got his start even before he had a degree, teaching a couple years in Catholic schools.
He spent 35 years of his career as an administrator in Sylvania, Eastwood and ending with 11 years in Bowling Green. He's been the district's "closer," having overseen the last years of South Main and Milton, and now Ridge, which will remain open for one more year.
Offenburg said he was inspired by his teachers at the Cherry Street School in Toledo.
When his retirement was announced, Offenburg said, he started hearing from former students. "I was very surprised," he said. "I'm very blessed. I've been very blessed my whole career."
That includes finishing his career in Bowling Green. "All the people who work here think kids first."
Offenburg received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Toledo. He has two grown sons, Christopher and Erich, who are teachers and a daughter, Gretchen, who until recently was a kindergarten teacher.
His wife, Kathy, teaches at Whitmer. Offenburg said he has no plans for retirement other than to "pamper my wife."
"Anything Rachel Ray has on TV could be on our table tonight," he said.
McVey described him as "a big teddy bear."
"George and Lorraine are such great principals and have created such family-like atmospheres in their buildings," the superintendent said of the retiring principals.
Flick is marking her 15th year in Bowling Green having worked previously in the Patrick Henry District. She arrived in 1997 as principal of Crim, and has been at Conneaut since 2001.
The Ada native said she was drawn to education by a desire "to make a difference for kids."
"That's probably what everybody says, but it's true."
She said she'll most miss the students, her colleagues, the families ... "all the fine people in Bowling Green."
She said she was "wide open" to the possibilities of retirement. "I'm waiting for the next adventure to begin."
Flick has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bowling Green State University. Married to Don, she has a 13-year-old son Grant and two grown sons Dylan and Destry.
"If there's something to be done, she's right there to do it," McVey said of Flick.
Though Tache wanted to be a teacher early on, she didn't start college as an education major.
Growing up in Brooklyn, outside of Cleveland, she graduated first in her high school class, and her guidance counselor said students who were valedictorians did not become teachers.
So she started out studying nursing at Cleveland State University. A couple years in, though, she transferred, applying her science knowledge to teaching.
Tache, who has a graduate degree from BGSU, has done two stints in Bowling Green, first as a science teacher in the junior high from 1980 to 1993, and then returning as assistant high school principal in 2003. In between she served as an administrator in McComb and Maumee.
High School Principal Jeff Dever said: "She's probably one of the pre-eminent educators in Northwest Ohio. I wish she wasn't retiring."
McVey said she was worried about having to find someone to fill her position.
Tache is married to Tim and has two grown children, Rob and Sara. She plans to continue doing educational consulting and "hang out" at her condo in Naples, Fla.
But before her last day on July 31, she said: "I need more time to tie up things I want to do."