After thirty-two years of teaching, Bob Rhoades is preparing for his retirement by semi-retiring starting next year. Rhoades will only teach part time and be relieved of homeroom, study hall, clean-up and other similar duties. He will, however, continue to oversee the Human Rights Group.
Rhoades said, “For me part time opens up space in my life to begin planning my next career. It will also allow me to leave here at the age of 65 with some gas still in my tank and time to try some new things.”
Rhoades’ lively presence at GFS makes it hard to imagine the school without him. When Rhoades first came to GFS in 1980 there was no exchange with Mexico, and Spanish was only offered through 9th grade.
Initially teaching 9th grade Spanish, Rhoades helped to develop the Spanish program to what it is today. Rhoades now teaches Spanish 3 and Spanish 5, which keep him very busy. While working part time Rhoades will begin to devote his time to different things.
Rhoades said, “The rhythms of this place [GFS] are part of both the attraction and the maddening quality. One has no trouble figuring out how to be productive and busy in a GFS schedule. Instead of going all to nothing I will be able to gradually dedicate time to cultivating other interests.”
Rhoades has some plans related to the work that the Human Rights Group is currently doing. He said, “One of my interests is exploring work that’s being done in the city, both official and grass roots, with prisoners and their families in the interest of making reentry to society more viable and return to prison less likely.”
Some of Rhoades’s future plans are even more extensive, including taking various classes and volunteering at a local arboretum. He hopes to become certified in teaching English as a Second Language. “I would go overseas at the drop of a hat to teach English. There are so many countries I would like to get to know by living in them,” he said.
So although Rhoades will be scaling back his time at GFS, he will be spreading his numerous talents elsewhere.