Retiring teachers to be missed

May 26, 2009 — by Mira Chaykin and Rebecca Nguyen

retiring teachers

At the end of this school year, students will not only have to say goodbye to the seniors but also to retiring English teacher Paul Page and math teacher Larry Bingham. Both have decided to leave SHS in pursuit of relaxation and other passions.

Page leaves SHS community

Page, who has been at SHS since 1973, previously worked as both the music director and the journalism advisor.

He is an honored member of the English department and will be missed tremendously when he moves on.
“I knew he would retire one of these days, but I am still very saddened,” said English teacher Cathy Head.

Although Page can be considered one of the older English teachers, he is usually the first to supplement new technology.

“He’s been the flag bearer for technological innovation in our department,” said Head.

Page plays podcasts in his class and was the first user of www.turnitin.com. He was also a pioneer in having a teacher website, which includes vocabulary lists, Internet forms of books, study techniques and other features.

“He tries new things, whether it be a teaching technique, an electronic gizmo, or travel on foot to the bottom of the Grand Canyon or a foreign county,” said English teacher Kerry Mohnike.

After he retires, he plans to read all the books he could not during his teaching career for lack of time.

“He is the model of a life-long learner,“ said Mohnike. “He has been a great mentor to me in a myriad ways.”

Page has always valued the education of his students and he will miss them the most when he retires.

“Kids that are excited about learning get me up in the morning. I come for the students that like to come to school and like to learn and expand their horizons,” said Page.

In addition to going through his reading list, Page plans to maintain focus on being a musical composer and spending more time with his family.

“I have three grandchildren that I spend an awful lot of time with, so I can be even more involved with them,” said Page.

His grandchildren will be pleased, but the Saratoga High staff will miss him.

“He’s a fantastic, versatile and talented man,” said English teacher Judith Sutton. “Saratoga High has been lucky to have him.”

Bingham follows his dreams

Bingham, who will retire from teaching mathematics after teaching eight years at Saratoga High in addition to a total of 30 years at Branham, Blackford, and Lee, has plans to take classes at Sacramento City College to become a conductor engineer.

“I’ve always been fascinated with railroads,” said Bingham. “From a little kid building railroads to taking my kids to see railroads, I just enjoy it.”

Even through his career as a teacher, Bingham’s fascination with railroads has been a prevalent part of his life such as volunteering to drive antique trolleys in historical San Jose.

Unfortunately, being a railroad engineer is a massive time commitment, so Bingham had to make the choice to stop teaching full time.

“I plan on teaching summer school instead of subbing if I can, so that I have a class to teach,” said Bingham. “That way I’ll still be involved.”

There is no doubt that Bingham will leave a significant gap to fill.

“It’s just wonderful to have someone like that in the department who’s willing to teach whatever needs to be taught and you can always count on him to do a good job,” said math teacher Audrey Warmuth. “He will be missed.”

One of his most important contributions to the math department was his organizational ability, which was useful at the beginning of each new school year.

“We don’t know how we will cope without him because we try to ignore the fact that he is not coming back next year,” said math teacher Seema Patel.

Like Page, Bingham will be missed for the diversity he brought to his respective department.
“He has a lot to offer outside of just teaching,” said Patel. “He’s passionate about teaching and still passionate about having a life. There’s a lot to learn from Mr. Bingham.”

Bingham will continue to follow his passions throughout his retirement, mainly by pursuing his railroad ambitions.

“Life is a bunch a phases. I’m just entering a new phase,” said Bingham. “It’s a little bit scary, but it’s always exciting. So we’ll see how it goes.”