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Layout and photo illustrations by Paula Baworska

Photos by Sam Nelson

By Jacob Kemp and Maria Thames

In the style of our online blog, Humans of Libertyville, which is based off the famous blog, Humans of New York, we interviewed some substitute teachers at Libertyville High School to give more insight about who they are. While stu- dents likely only interact with subs for 50 minutes once or twice a week, they come in and out of the building every day, making sure that students stay on

“I am a photographer outside of substitute teaching, and I finished up college a few years ago. I didn’t study pho- tography, but I got really into photography to- wards the end of college. [I] just got a little camera and started taking

... pictures and really fell in love with it. I wasn’t liking my internships or what I was really study- ing, wasn’t like really in love with it like I thought I was going to be. So when I got done with college, I moved back

home and started my own business in photog- raphy, so that was some- thing I became passion- ate about in college and decided to go for and pursue it as a career, so I’ve been working really hard at that for the past two and a half years.”

- Mr. Eric Decker

“I feel like I’m a little bit more --I’ve heard one student call me -- chill. I’m a little bit more re- laxed as a teacher [than other teachers]. I don’t like yelling or disci- plining. The big thing about teaching for me is that it’s important to have a positive learning environment, and it’s important to have those connections and rela- tionships. I just try and make it fun. Obviously math has some boring aspects to it. I just try to inject some craziness. I was weird in high school. I’d argue that I’m still weird now.”

- Mr. Nicholas Gerjol

“Libertyville is just the best. I had this eighth pe- riod honors class, I think they graduated last year. At Homecoming, this kid comes up to me and says, ‘Would you wear my jer- sey?’ Again, I didn’t even know that was a thing. He brings me the paper that says why you chose this teacher. I was just taken aback! You have to understand, this is a per- son who isn’t vocal, isn’t loud, is a quiet student, is a respectful student. But I was very impressed and surprised by that. I’m here only part of your year, but the fact that he felt that comfortable to ask me to do that told me a lot about the relation- ship I had with that class and those students. It’s just a really cool relation- ship you can build over time, but we clicked.”

- Mrs. Catherine Abreu



Drops of Ink

track and classes continue according to schedule. Students depend on substi- tutes to be here when their teachers can’t, but often they aren’t given the oppor- tunity to get to know them. In the following quotes, we strive to introduce you to a few of these subs you might see every day, walking in the hall or standing in the front of your classroom with their name written on the whiteboard.

“Something that I really appreciate is that at the end of the class when the bell rings and the stu- dents are leaving, there’s usually several students who will thank me for being there. I don’t know of any teachers that say, ‘Make sure you thank your substitute while I’m gone.’ It just makes me feel good to know that they appreciate me being there when their teacher can’t. Especially that they think to do it without somebody else telling them to do it.”

- Mrs. Barbara Boes

“I’ve been in education

my whole life and it never

gets old

It’s always a

... challenge, and I’ve en- joyed every minute of it.”

“There’s a saying: ‘Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ I think that’s really true. … I never didn’t want to go to work any day. I always enjoyed it. It’s always different.”

- Mrs. Ginny Reis



“Coming out of [teach-

ing at] North Chicago, I’ve had a lot of experi- ences. Students will ask me, ‘Oh, how could you teach at North Chicago?’

  • I say, ‘No, they’re stu-

dents too. They’re just like you. Now they may have more responsibili- ties. They may work forty

hour jobs. I know that’s illegal, but they have to do it.’ That’s where I learned to respect stu- dents. When I tell kids

  • I taught at North Chi-

cago, it gives me some street cred. I was taught at North Chicago by

my old students that if

  • I respect the students, I

will develop a reputation, and I will get the respect back. When and if I get the feeling that I’m com- ing here because it’s a job and I don’t want to see these kids again, then I will not be here. There’s a purpose to being here.”

“I just really love [being a sub]. I enjoy it. People ask me when [I] check in or when [I] check out at the end of the day, ‘How was your day?’ and my answer always is, ‘What’s not to love?’ I love be- ing here. I love coming in, I like being with the students, I like sitting and talking to them. I learn a lot from them too about what’s going on in the world and their lives. [My husband and I] don’t have children this age anymore, ours [have] all graduated from Liber- tyville High School, so it’s nice to stay in touch with the kids here and know what’s happening in the high-school age group.”

- Mrs. Arlene Vuturo

- Ms. Judy Craig

Drops of Ink