Thank you, Ms. Menges

Denycely Cante, reporter

This year Patricia Menges is retiring from Morton East.

Ms. Menges worked at East for 16 years. During that time, she worked as a counselor, Ms. Menges started her career with Dave Peterson whos was our Assistant Principal.

What’s your favorite memory during these past few years?
“working closely with some students whose lives you know were profoundly impacted and who profoundly impacted my life– some whom I still talk to today, working alongside some of best teachers and counselors any school could wish for, student of the month breakfasts with well-deserving students, weekly cohort meetings with the “best” cohort team..,” counselor Ms. Menges said.

How did your students react when you told them about this news?
“I have not told many students that I am retiring… it has been a crazy year to retire since we meet with so few of our students in person. A few of the students that I have told were surprised and sad that I will not here to finish the years with them as their counselor,” counselor Ms. Menges said.

How do you feel about your last years being in remote learning and a pandemic?
“It has been a crazy year as a counselor during the pandemic. I feel being an effective counselor has been difficult. Not being able to see students in person and grab them right out of classrooms has compromised the relationship building that is so important in being a good counselor. so many students have struggled desperately through the isolation of COVID and Remote learning, both academically and socially/emotionally, and not being able to address those students in person has been difficult. I feel that it has made retiring easier since personal contact with students has been minimal. COVID has changed the way a day in the life of a counselor at Morton east looks like… we spend a lot of time trying to contact students and parents by phone or email to try and motivate them,” counselor Ms. Menges said.

How are you going to spend your time after this decision?
“I am not sure how I am going to spend my time… My motto for retirement is “YES”…When I am asked to go away for a few days with friends my answer will be “YES’, when one of my children asks me to do something or help with something my answer will be “YES,” when one of my 4 children ask if I can go to something or be with them my answer will be “YES.” I am just going to do what I like without having to worry about the responsibility of a job,” counselor Ms. Menges said.

Will you be in touch with other teachers and students?
“I will MOST definitely stay in touch with many of my colleagues at Morton East. The friends and relationships I have made here have been a great blessing in my life and I will continue to nurture those relationships,” counselor Ms. Menges said.

Congratulations on your retirement, Morton East will miss you!