At the end of this school year, a teaching tandem with more than 50 years of experience in the Warren County School District will move on.
"Sheffield High School has had at least one Werner in it for 36 years," Gloria Werner said.
Werner and her husband, Jack, have decided to retire.
They do so with deep mutual respect.
"I had the opportunity to teach with my wife for several years at Sheffield," Jack Werner, who taught middle school and senior high math for 32 years, said. "Her attention to detail, dedication to her profession and love of her students was inspiring."
"I fell short of her ideals, but I always strived to emulate her," he said.
Curriculum changes through the years helped Gloria appreciate the challenges of Jack's work.
"Because all teachers teach math to help prepare students for the PSSA testing, I truly understand how difficult it was for Jack being a math teacher," she said.
"Both of us being in teaching has been great," said Gloria Werner, who has taught family and consumer science at Sheffield for the last six years. "Having someone else who really understands what you are going through when you have a bad day or a difficult situation presents itself is wonderful."
"We both understand the time that needs to be spent at home on school work," she said.
There were times when their time together at school was all they got in a day.
"Also we were in the same building for a few years so that was nice to be able to go to work together in the morning and sometimes even have lunch together," Gloria Werner said. "With Jack being so involved in athletics for so many years and so busy at times that was the most we saw each other some days."
They worked together at Sheffield Area Middle High School for four years.
After his 32 years of teaching, Jack Werner has stayed in the school for two years as athletic coordinator. For the past two years, he has been full-time in the district office as the district's supervisor of district-wide athletics and co-curricular activities.
Gloria was a substitute for 10 years before working at Youngsville for four years.
They have been married for almost 35 years and have three children, Elizabeth Peterson, Vincent Werner, and Mark Werner.
Q: Why did you become a teacher?
Gloria: My high school home ec teacher influenced me to love the subject. I think I decided to teach because I am a people person and like dealing with people.
Jack: I decided to pursue a degree in education because it seemed like an opportunity to study math, which I enjoyed. I was reasonably talented in math. I also thought I would enjoy working with kids and coaching.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
Gloria: When a student sees the value in something they learned in class and tells you about how they used it in their own situations. Since what I teach is a practical art, that should happen often.
Jack: Presently my most rewarding efforts involve facilitating opportunities where students excel outside the classroom. Many of our kids are very talented in athletics, music and the arts. It is a pleasure to encourage their participation in those activities.
Q: What frustrates you most about teaching?
Gloria: Students who do not take advantage of all that is being offered to them in and out of the classroom in schools today. Many will come back to say I wish I was back in school.
Q: What advice could you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a teacher?
Jack: An education degree is a very challenging curriculum. If you feel our profession is for you, be persistent. Believe in yourself.
Gloria: Be flexible. It is always changing. What I teach isn't even called the same thing it was when I graduated 35 years ago.
Q: What career would you be in if you were not a teacher?
Gloria: Now that I am going to retire I guess I will find out what other things I want to do.
Q: If you could recommend one thing to parents to help their children in school, what would it be?
Both: Stay involved!
Jack: Play with them, read with them. Be there for them. Hold high expectations for your children and expect them to meet them.
Gloria: Even if your child thinks you don't need to be involved, you do. Parents have a great influence in their child's attitude about school.
Q: What is on your post-WCSD agenda?
Jack: We are looking forward to spending time with our moms and our children.
Gloria: We are about to become grandparents for the first time and plan to spend time with all of our family, who all live out of the area. Hopefully we will be able to do the things we have been putting off because of our busy schedules.
Q: Is there anything I should have asked you about but didn't?
Gloria: Who has helped me along the way? Besides my husband, of course, I especially want to mention Mrs. Marty Adams, who was my mentor and my friend when I first started full-time. I don't think I could have survived without her help. Also thanks to the many teachers I have worked with who have been examples and helped me in so many ways every day. Also, Cindy next door, who is always there to listen.