Every year teachers and helpers leave R.A. Long and other high schools. This year Mr. Dennis Weber, a history teacher, and Mrs. Cheryl Risner, a para educator have decided to retire.
Weber started substituting for RAL in 1975 until 1977. He moved to a full time position at Natural High where he spent six years, then returned to RAL. He has been teaching a total of 35 years.
Weber will now spend his time as president of the Longview Education Association and will continue to serve on the Longview City Council.
Weber spoke at his own graduation ceremony in 1970 from R.A. Long, and he said he many great memories of the school.
"I have worked with some pretty incredible students, from the straight arrows to the students with the most difficult home situations you can imagine, but my most memorable was meeting the love of my life," Weber said.
That would be his wife, Chris McElroy-Weber, whom he met at a faculty meeting in 1975. She was wearing a white lab coat and red lipstick, Weber said.
After that encounter, he said, he values Lumberjacks and Jills. "I am going to miss the students the most. They're the greatest."
Mrs. Risner has worked in the Longview School District for 26 years and plans to substitute occasionally after retirement.
"I am retiring this year because I turn 62 in June and can receive social security. Plus, my husband is already retired," Risner said. Her hobbies are scrapbooking, walking, reading and just being laid back.
She plans to travel a lot more to New York to see her daughter. "My favorite place to travel is the Virgin Islands," Risner said.
Her entire years with the district have been spent at RAL and she will take away many memories and long lasting friendships.
"I always wanted to be around the high school, and I believe I completed my mission," she said.
RAL just won't be the same without these two educators. And due to budget cuts, their positions will not be filled next year.