Montini Catholic High School announces the retirement of teacher and Foreign Language Department Chair, Mrs. Roberta Raike. Mrs. Raike, who has been teaching for a total of forty-six years, since 1975, served Montini's Bronco students for twenty-one (21) years. She was honored for her service during the Lasallian college preparatory school's Founder's Day ceremony on Friday, May 21st where she received a standing ovation from her fellow teachers and Montini students.
"I have wanted to be a teacher since the 7th grade," says Roberta. "I wanted to help students with their education, but I didn't know in what area until my Junior year in high school when I took my first Spanish class." It was during her freshman year in college, when she had the opportunity to travel to Spain during spring break that she better knew what she wanted to do for her future. "Learning a language became my passion!"
Roberta began her teaching career at a Catholic high school in Corpus Christi, Texas before coming back to the Chicagoland area in 1994. She taught at De La Salle High School prior to beginning her Bronco teaching career in 2000.
"Teaching at Montini was my first encounter with Lasallian education," she said. "It is something special because Lasallian education isn't just about the curriculum, it is about meeting the students where they are at and "Touching Their Hearts" (the John Baptist de La Salle motto). The rewards in education aren't necessarily immediate. They happen when students have been in college for several years and come back to say "thank you" and that they now understand everything that you were trying to teach them. Being a Lasallian educator is not just a job, but a vocation. I know that quite a few students have gone on to major or minor in a language. I hope to have made a difference in the lives of my students."
Roberta has so many good memories throughout her years of teaching and finds it hard to narrow them down to just a few. "Definitely, taking students to Spain, France, and Italy during the summer was always exciting and memorable," she said. (Unfortunately, due to Covid shutdowns, last summer's trip to Europe had to be canceled.) She also cherishes her times chaperoning Homecoming dances, proms, scoring volleyball and basketball games. "Volunteering at these events allowed me to get to know students outside of the classroom."
She recalls her first year at Montini which was also the year that construction of the school's Math Wing began (2000). "Our theme for that year was 'Faith and Flexibility.' That same theme could have been applied to this year with all that we all (students and faculty) endured."
Roberta is looking forward to catching up on her reading during retirement. She is also looking forward to taking road trips and traveling to California to visit her son and his family. "Of course, if I am at home, I will gladly come to substitute at Montini when needed," she said. She vows to always cherish the memories of her fellow teachers and staff members whom she has worked with throughout the years. "The camaraderie that was formed through laughter, tears, and experiences will remain with me forever."
"Roberta will be truly missed," said President Jim Segredo. "She has been a gifted leader in our Foreign Language Department and will always be a valued member of our Montini Catholic family. We wish her much rest and relaxation in her retirement."