GNA teachers set to retire

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!

Harley LaRue, Student Writer

Students are often credited as being the future of America, but without teachers, students wouldn’t be able have the impact they do. From a young age, students look up to their teachers for guidance, help, companionship, and most importantly, education. Teachers shape the way for students around the world and offer endless amounts of knowledge and wisdom to those who listen, whether it be through a funny story or a lecture. Students often feel a sense of loss when a teacher retires, but the light that that teacher has shone upon their students will never die out; it will continue to influence their path to their dreams.

But, once again, without a school, teachers wouldn’t be able to inspire students the way they do. Custodians help keep the school clean and safe for students and staff. While they’re often overlooked, without them, any school would most likely run into disrepair. They help to provide a safe place for students to learn and teachers to teach. Students reach out to the staff the same way they do with teachers to look for a friend, a confidant. The custodians here at GNA don’t hesitate to reach out to students and provide them with the trust and friendship they seek.

Teachers and custodians dedicate years of their life to furthering education in hopes of creating a better tomorrow, and they deserve to be appreciated and honored years after they leave.

At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, six teachers and custodians will be retiring here at GNA.

Mrs. Hockenbury

Mr. Rakowski

Mr. Cipriani

Mrs. Marshall

Mrs. Makarczyk

Mrs. Najaka

The GNA Insider would like to honor and celebrate the years that these professionals have dedicated here at GNA. They’ve worked harder than anyone could ever know in order to make sure students are able to accomplish their dreams. Their work inside and outside of school has motivated students to do the best they can, and they will be remembered by everyone who came in contact with them.

The GNA Insider wishes them well in their endeavors and whatever else may come after the 2017-2018 school year.


The GNA Insider spoke to Mrs. Makarczyk about her plans for retirement.

To start off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (Your name, what grade(s) you teach, subject(s) you teach, what you do, position in the school, etc)

Jeanne Makarczyk. I teach American Gov’t, sophomores, and Psychology, grades 11 and 12. 

When did you start teaching, and what inspired you to become a teacher?

I taught 3 years at Arlington Heights Jr. High in Illinois. I moved back to PA. I was a substitute at GNA for 10 years and became a full-time teacher in 1993. My teacher at Montoursville High School, Mr. Felix, was a fantastic history teacher that inspired me to become a teacher. 

What does it mean to be a teacher and ultimately have a hand in shaping America’s future?

The students that sit in front of me everyday inspire me to be the best person and teacher I can possibly be. They are our hope of a better world. Just to be a part of their lives is a privilege. 

Is there anything you wish more people understood about being a teacher?

Teachers are people, too. We want our students to reach for the stars. Sometimes, I feel students think that we are not human. I have good days and bad days as do they. Teachers pray that every student becomes a “caring and kind individual – and citizen.”

Are there any embarrassing moments you’re willing to share? If so, what are they?

Too many to mention! 🙂

What is your most memorable moment from your years of teaching?

The 1st day I walked into GNA, Feb. 6th, 1976.

What schools have you worked for? (Other than GNA. If you have not worked at another school/district, feel free to skip this question. Feel free to list what subjects you’ve taught here as well if not listed in the first question.)

Arlington Heights Jr High, Arlington Heights, Illinois. I lived in Chicago for 3 years. 

What do you enjoy most about working here at GNA?

I love the students. The staff is wonderful and always there to stand by one another. 

Have you learned anything (from students or otherwise) throughout your years of teaching?

Kids are the reason I am here!! I will miss them the most. They are my inspiration for all these years!

Have you ever taught different subjects than you do now? If so, what other subjects have you taught? 

In the past, I taught: 

  • The Gifted Program
  • Geography
  • Civics
  • World Cultures
  • Am Gov’t I
  • Am Gov’t II

What advice do you have for students considering majoring in education?

I hope you enjoy and love teaching as much as I have for these many years. Respect the students, and in return, they will respect you!

Do you have any plans for after retirement?

I am going to Hawaii as soon as school is dismissed. January, I am going to Aruba, the “beach,” and I’m going to visit my “people” in Ireland in September. “Bon Voyage!”

Do you have any last thoughts/advice/anything you’d like to share with the district/students?

It was a great run!! I love this place with all my heart and I will miss the students, faculty and administration. I hope and pray that my “kids” reach for the stars!



We also asked the coworkers of the retiring employees to say a few words in honor of their retirement.

From Dr. Grevera to all of those who are retiring. 

I want to take a moment and thank each teacher for their commitment and devotion to our students over the time they spent at GNA and wish them a very healthy and happy retirement. 

From J.D. Verazin, GNA Support Professionals President, to Mr. Rakowski.

The Support Professionals would like to congratulate Bob Rakowski on his retirement from GNA. We all enjoyed working with him during his 24 years here. While he will be missed by all of us at GNA, he certainly deserves his retirement.
We are confident that he will find the same success and happiness in retirement that he experienced during his time here and enjoy some of the things that he loves to do.

From Justin Gabel to Mr. Cipriani. 

Angelo Cipriani is the wisest, kindest, and most intelligent person that I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. Not only is he a great leader to work under, but he is also one of the most passionate teachers to ever grace the profession. The world is losing one of its greatest educators and he will never be truly replaced. He has earned his retirement and can think of few that deserve rest and relaxation more.

From Ms. Hyder to Mrs. Hockenbury

It’s been a pleasure working and learning from you for the past 14 years! Enjoy retirement! You deserve the best!