A chorus of bus horns and cheering reverberated amid the waving arms of children and teachers bidding farewell to each other on the last day of school Wednesday, May 24 at Amelia Carriel Junior High in O’Fallon.
But it wasn’t just a chapter closing on the 2016-17 school year — it was also the final day in 41-year teaching career of Jane Obernuefemann, whose tenure with District 90 began in 1975 at Hinchcliffe Elementary.
One district, eight superintendents, five schools, seven principals and four decades after she began her career in education, Obernuefemann is retiring. The journey was a “fantastic” one, she said.
“It was a different time then than it is now, and I’ve enjoyed every second of the journey,” Obernuefemann with an ear-to-ear smile.
After a decade-long stint with first-graders, she moved on to teach sixth grade for the next 30 years, all culminating last week.
“My 41 years here has been the best experience I’ve ever had,” she said.
Teachers and staff had special T-shirts made for everyone to wear to celebrate Obernuefemann on her last day of her career.
“We’re just so proud of all her hard work she’s put in with us and the district,” Carriel Principal Ellen Hays said.
Students and colleagues alike also showered Obernuefemann with hugs, well wishes and gifts.
“This morning, my robotics club came in with this (a framed card), and it was on the little robot being rolled into the room — it was absolutely precious,” she said.
Obernuefemann said she’s been able to watch her students grow into adulthood. Many have followed in her footsteps.
“It’s been amazing to see how many that I taught that have gone into the teaching profession, and I’m now working with them as teachers — it’s just fantastic,” she said.
As for moving forward, Obernuefemann said she’s not sure what exactly will occupy her days, other than “fun.”
“I’ll probably be out at one of the stores, catch me there. I may get another job, or I may just be shopping. I don’t know, but I’m gonna have a ball!” she said.
Retiring Teachers in O’Fallon
▪ Mary Jane Hilden, Marie Schaefer Elementary, 16 years
▪ Jane Obernuefemann, Amelia Carriel Junior High, 41 years
▪ Eric Curry, O’Fallon High, 30 years
▪ Ronald Koch, O’Fallon High, 24 years
▪ Becky Merrill, O’Fallon High, 27 years
▪ Berta Schneider, O’Fallon High, 29 years
St. Clare Catholic School
▪ Maureen Williams, 13 years