Retired teachers substitute for new mothers

November 8, 2010 — by Grishma Athavale and Aanchal Mohan

Former Saratoga High teachers Paul Page and Larry Bingham never thought that they would come back to SHS after they retired at the end of the 2008-09 school year, but they’re back, a year later, to help out former colleagues who are having babies this fall.

“Mrs. [Natasha] Ritchie asked me to sub for her for six weeks while she was on maternity leave,” said Page. “I wanted to do her a favor.”

Page taught at Saratoga for 36 years as a choir and orchestra director, English teacher and journalism teacher.

“I did not think that I would come back and teach again,” said Page. “I wouldn’t even consider it for a full year. I wanted to take a year to see how things would play out.”

During his year off, Page has been spending more time with his grandchildren and developing his music. According to Page, he has release a new CD of instrumental music and recently in October released a new CD of piano etudes.

“Every day I have the freedom to do whatever I want,” said Page.

Bingham will be substituting for 10 weeks for math teacher Jennifer Mantle.

Bingham retired one year ago. Going into retirement, he was hoping to become become a conductor engineer. Bingham’s fascination with railroads has been an abundant part of his life; for example, he volunteered to drive antique trolleys in historical San Jose.

As it turned out, Bingham’s life on the tracks was not so easy. Conductor engineers were on call 24-7 with the engineer mandated to report for the job within two hours of the call. Bingham said the job was more demanding than he initially thought.

“The job required me to be at the tracks at the oddest hours,” said Bingham. “It wasn’t right for me.”
Though his dream of becoming a conductor did not work out, Bingham has managed to keep himself occupied in his free time.

“I’ve been taking part-time classes on wood crafting,” said Bingham. “Pretty much I’ve been keeping busy with things I’m interested in.”

Though Bingham and Page have retired from teaching, they still miss the chance to get to know their students.

“I miss teaching,” said Bingham. “But that phase of my life is over now. It’s like I grew up.”

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