Saturday, December 20, 2008

Galva High School 1972-78

My first full-time teaching job was in Galva, Illinois, a town of about 3,000 in west-central Illinois. Here's my photo (bottom left) in the 1972 Galva yearbook, the Galahi. The high school itself had about 350 students, as I recall. I made a whopping $7,500 annual salary, but with rent at $90 and car payment of $75 (and gas only 30 cents a gallon), I was able to survive.

I taught six classes of English 9, which were carefully tracked and not so subtly called 9-A, 9-B, 9-C, and 9-D-F. The only thing I remember for sure teaching them was Romeo and Juliet, although I'm sure there was much more.

It was a small, mainly Swedish community. I had five Andersons in one class! They had never heard of a name like Schibrowsky. It was also a conservative Protestant town, and the principal told me he didn't care if I drank in public, but please don't do it in town. But, oh, could we party! The teachers were mostly young, fun, and great partyers!

I loved that town, school, kids, parents, and colleagues. I was instrumental in starting the first teachers' union (of course). It was a very good place to start a teaching career.

Somehow, I got stuck as senior class sponsor. Here I am below, at the senior picnic, being carried to be tossed in the lake by the senior boys (who were just 3-4 years younger than I).


  1. Looks like you are having fun taking a walk down memory lane! Enjoy the stroll! Susan

  2. "Ah yes, I remember it well." I was a junior when you arrived. We were all quite excited by the young teachers who were hired. And, yes, you were partyers, but I think most teachers are. We have a group that gets together-and some nights watch out! By the way, one of the guys in the picture-Scott MacAdam-is on the school board in Champaign.