As art teacher Joan Bugnitz, English teacher Chuck Hussung, and math teacher Dan Schuler all take a leave of absence, retired St. Louis U. High faculty have excitedly come back to take over their classes. Their temporary replacements are Mary Whealon, Jim Raterman, and George Mills, respectively.
Whealon, a retired SLUH ceramics, drawing, and theology teacher, will be taking the place of Bugnitz as she spends the semester on sabbatical.
Bugnitz will be taking a sabbatical to pursue her personal art. While away for the first semester, she will be taking a printmaking class at UMSL, working on sculptural work, and other artistic activities.
Having taught here at SLUH for over 30 years, Whealon taught members of the current faculty such as Fine Arts chair Kevin McKernan, ’01 and drawing teacher Sean Powers, ’05.
“She taught here for over 30 years before she retired, so she knows the place and she’s familiar with the people, and she loves teaching,” said ceramics teacher Sarah Rebholz. “She digs working with the boys, and it’s just been a fun way to come back into teaching after being gone for six years.”
Last semester, Whealon subbed for Rebholz’s ceramic classes as she went on maternity leave, so she will be completing nearly a year back at SLUH after six years of retirement.
Whealon will be taking on two sections of Bugnitz’ drawing one classes during the year, while the third drawing class will be taught by Powers. Bugnitz’s printmaking class has been moved to the second semester.
“I feel like it has energized me, and I feel like I have more energy than what I was doing at home, which is good,” said Whealon. “The boys I have here are wonderful, so I’m having a lot of fun.”
During Whealon’s time at SLUH, she taught ceramics for most of her career. While it is very different from drawing, Whealon has significant knowledge and understanding of art materials.
“I hope that the boys that I have in drawing learn to draw, and that they love it,” said Whealon. “There’s a lot that you can learn in a semester, and I hope that they find it useful.”
Former English teacher Jim Raterman will be taking over for Hussung’s two sections of regular junior English classes. Raterman served as a teacher for over 40 years, introduced Catch-22 to the junior curriculum, and moderated the Prep News.
Hussung needed teachers to sub in for him as he spends away to care for his wife, and Raterman was eager to help out his former colleague and current friend. Raterman will be filling in for Hussung until Hussung is able to return.
The third retiree, Mills, is taking over for Schuler while Schuler is on a two week paternity leave. Mills, who left SLUH in 2017, taught advanced geometry and statistics. Mills is very happy to return to SLUH for the short period. He will be covering Schuler’s three sections of sophomore geometry and one section of probability and statistics for seniors.
According to Mills, SLUH feels the same as when he left and he feels good to be back.