Conley to retire at the end of this school year


Rebecca Aguado, Staff Reporter

Mrs. Elizabeth Conley has been teaching at Bishop Noll for 28 years, and after a total of 48 years in education, she has finally decided that she will retire after the graduation of Bishop Noll’s 2018 seniors. With a diabetic husband at home, Mrs. Conley is looking forward to staying home, and being more available to his needs. Financially, Mrs. Conley has more than an enough to live comfortably, so she believes that now is the best time for her to retire.

Mrs. Conley has been a tremendous asset to Bishop Noll in more ways than one. Along with being head of the theater department for years, and being a teacher for speech, Conley often serves as a consultant for students.  Every school year, she attends one of the four-day long Kairos trips, with the Junior class.

“I’ve definitely felt the positive ends of her presence. She has helped me in numerous ways with my personal life, daily life, and school life. School has stopped being a chore but something enjoyable solely based off her antics,” said senior Alexis Rodriguez.  

Mrs. Conley stumbled upon her passion for teaching by doing a favor for an old friend. Stumbling into this opportunity of being a substitute teacher ended up helping Mrs. Conley find what she felt was her calling in life.

“I was a professional actress in Seattle and a friend of mine asked me to teach her theater class for the [five] months she was on pregnancy leave. I fell in love with teaching theater and directing,” Conley said.

Her first real teaching job was as a health teacher at John Hersey High School in Illinois. Since then, she has taught at seven different different schools. She has taught in Illinois, Indiana, Seattle, and Albuquerque. However, Conley kept her options open, and when Bishop Noll offered her a teaching position, she jumped at the opportunity.

Mrs. Conley has a long lasting effect on not only her students, but her colleagues as well. Principal of Bishop Noll, Lorenza J. Pastrick, has had the experience of having Mrs. Conley not only as a teacher, but as a colleague.

When asked what it was like to have her as both, Mrs. Pastrick said, “Interesting. As a teacher, Mrs. Conley always had me thinking and to date, she still has me thinking about the right way to approach obstacles and challenges.  In many ways, she still is my teacher!”

Conley says what she will miss most about Noll is her students. Her favorite part about Noll is her students. It is safe to say that her students feel the same way. Student’s gave heartwarming words when asked about Conley.

“She is a true inspiration for students and teachers alike, no matter what type of field you are going to go into from teacher, family person, or whatever. Mrs. Conley is the perfect example of adults that we need in the world for being not only open but also caring and friendly to all people around,” said senior Abel Alejandre.

Mrs. Conley has no special plans in honor of her retirement. However, during her retirement, Mrs. Conley plans on traveling the U.S. with her husband in their trailer.

Although she will no longer be a full time teacher, Father Scalf has offered Mrs. Conley a part-time job, teaching theatre at Calumet College of St. Joseph. Conley also plans on subbing at Noll periodically.