Staff members reflect on their time at Central before retirement


Talia Sankari

Mr. McCabe, former guidance counselor and long time coach at Central was recently inducted into the ITCCCA Hall of Fame.


How many years have you been working at Hinsdale Central for?


Mr. McCabe: 22

Mr. Horan: 22

Mrs. Mark: 15

Mr. Wirtz: 34


Favorite memory?


Mr. McCabe: There’s not just one, there’s so many with students in guidance and athletes and coaching.

Mr. Horan: I had a great time teaching English here during my first 10 years as well as coaching basketball.

Mrs. Mark: My favorite memory is when students say the unexpected or watching “The Russians are Coming” [with my AP U.S. students] and “In the Heat of the Night” [with my regular U.S. students].

Mr. Wirtz: We would take the orchestras to Europe every other year on a concert tour and seeing the students perform in another country and in another culture. Watching their reactions and watching them interrelate with the Europeans was always really special for me. 


What will you miss the most about Hinsdale Central?

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Mr. McCabe: The students and the relationships with their families.

Mr. Horan: The people I work with, I’ve really grown attached to them and a lot of them are good friends.

Mrs. Mark: Being in the classroom with the students.

Mr. Wirtz: The kids, by far. The students, the concerts, the music, just creating things.


What are you looking forward to doing in your free time?


Mr. McCabe: I’m not completely leaving as I still plan on coaching for at least another two years. I have a daughter in high school and a daughter in fifth grade so now I can do more things with them as well as getting more sleep.

Mr. Horan: Not having to deal with the beginnings because they never stop being anxiety producing. It’s that feeling of Sunday night.

Mrs. Mark: Experimenting not having a plan, seeing where it goes in life. People have advised me not to rush into anything for six months, so I could do some volunteering or some family research, I definitely want to travel. I have a list of things.

Mr. Wirtz: Sleep and destress. I’m also looking forward to traveling, seeing parts of the world that I haven’t seen, I also want to get back to playing my cello. I haven’t been able to play my instrument in a long time. And play basketball which is another one of my true loves. 


How has Hinsdale Central changed from the time you started here to now?


Mr. McCabe: There have been a lot of small changes. The teachers and students here are high achievers and work very hard. But unfortunately I see less and less teachers in the building who are also coaches. It’s better when your coaches are in the house instead of outside.

Mr. Horan: The environment has changed for the better. When I started here there was a lot more animosity in the building between kids. It wasn’t as comfortable as it now and I think that has a lot to do with the Character Counts program. Kids say “thank you” at the end of class now and they never used to do that.

Mrs. Mark: It has become more diverse in a very good way. There’s more students of all backgrounds and races here and I think that is a really good thing and I would like to see that even improve.

Mr. Wirtz: As much as everything changes, everything stays the same. There’s a different group of students that comes in every year and each one of those students adds to what makes this place special, but they also learn a great deal of respect for the traditions. Clothing styles have changed, hairstyles have changed, but I also think that a lot has stayed the same. They’ve made additions on the outside, but this room has been exactly the same except for a new ceiling for 34 years. 

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Mr. Bhatti, English, and Sr. Fitzgerald, Foreign Language, are also in their last year at Hinsdale Central.