Four Beloved Teachers Bid Fenwick Goodbye


This year is a bittersweet one for the Fenwick community. Four beloved teachers will be retiring from teaching. Mr. Arscott, Mr. Draski, Father Woerter, and Dr. Lordan will all be departing from their positions at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, but their legacies will live on.

Mr. Robert Arscott teaches Calculus and Geometry. Junior Joe Zawacki contends that “he’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, considering at least ninety-five percent of his students get a four or five on the AP exam.” Mr. Arscott himself corroborates this, saying that one of his favorite memories was when all of his students received a five on the AP— an absolutely astounding accomplishment. While Zawacki spoke to Arscott’s academic prowess, Junior Jacqueline Miller focused on his personality. “Class is always fun because he makes it fun. He’s such a bubbly and upbeat person, and seeing him happy makes us happy,” she attests.

Most Friars have heard about Mr. Arscott’s atypical teaching methods. Zawacki commented, “He’s crazy for sure, but comical.” In Banua, his love for cookies is in no way underplayed. With one of the most passionate instructors at Fenwick departing, Miller claims, “If you had him for a teacher, you’re lucky, because he is one of a kind.” After his retirement, Mr. Arscott plans to volunteer with autistic teenagers: a position which will undoubtedly benefit another population of students. Arscott leaves the student body with these closing words: “BE IN SCHOOL.” Truly an amazing sentiment by an amazing man.

Another of Fenwick’s most valued members is set to retire at the conclusion of this year. Dr. Gerald Lordan will be ending his long career and beginning his retirement. Lordan has received appreciation in the form of the Rev. George Conway Outstanding Teacher Rev. J. Cyril Fisher Longevity of Service, and he is involved in the Fenwick Fathers’ Club, Fenwick Bar Association, Fenwick Business Council, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club. When asked about his departure, Dr. Lordan replied, “We do not have a Graduation Ceremony. We hold a Commencement Exercise. Graduation implies going forth on one’s own. We never leave our Friar Community. After four years as an Adolescent Friar we receive the privilege and assume the responsibility of an adult Friar. We make the Fenwick Experience possible for Future Friars.”

As this stage of his life concludes, Dr. Lordan looks forward to the beginning of the rest of his life. Dr. Lordan would like to bring to attention the tradition of Fenwick and the responsibilities we have to give back to the world. “As a Thomist school we have a moral obligation in a covenant with God to train moral servant leaders of society. From those to whom much has been given, much is expected.”

Mr. Thomas Draski has also taught at Fenwick for years. Every student that has walked through the halls is familiar with the birds chirping in the West Wing, and even shadows get to experience his amazing personality when he asks them riddles and involves them in class. No student knows him like Mr. Arellano does, and when asked about Draski’s departure, Mr. Arellano said, “Mr. Draski’s retirement will be a loss to Fenwick. We’ll lose that goofy sense of Draski humor.” Three years ago, Mr. Draski underwent heart surgery. “I will never forget the kindness and concern my freshman biology class showed me,” he remembers. “They sent me many cards and letters of encouragement that I still have.” He still treasures every gift and letter given to him, citing three girls that gave him a bottle of quotes and a book of jokes. He attributes that class’ kindness to his speedy recovery.

As coach of freshman and sophomre tennis players, he has found great satisfaction in connecting with his teams. Mr. Draski adds. “I was honored to be selected by the faculty as the ‘Educator of the Year’. In the fall of 2018, and gave the keynote address at the NHS ceremony.” As can be expected, Mr. Draski is looking forward to his years of relaxation and exploration but finds it very hard to leave his students. “I love teaching and coaching. I always have and always will. A quote I have read says, ‘If you find a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life.’ I will remain connected to the great Fenwick student body by continuing to coach the girls and boys tennis teams.”

Draski has truly been a mentor to students for years, and Fenwick is indebted to him. After a long, fulfilling career, Mr. Draski has a great many plans for the future—read more, walk more, volunteer, sleep longer, vacation to national parks, play tennis, and attend more performances at the Lyric Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While he indubitably has a long list of to-dos, there is no doubt that he can accomplish it all. “Dear Fenwick students,” Draski concludes, “Have confidence in yourself. You are amazing and smarter than you think. Always be kind and caring and smile more. Show an act of kindness to someone each day. Your kindness to me has not gone unnoticed. Respect others and respect yourself. Life is like a mirror, you will get back what you give. Trust your heart. You can, and you will, it’s all in the state of mind.”

Perhaps most shockingly, Father Woerter is transferring to work at Indiana University. As a theology teacher, chaplain, head of campus ministry, coach of sophomore boys and JV girls soccer, Preaching Team leader and Mother’s Club moderator, Woerter has made innumerable connections within the Fenwick community. “FD,” as students call him, graduated with the class of 1986, and has been at Fenwick for seven years.”He’s the face of Fenwick,” Junior Mary Henegan says. “Soccer with FD has been one of my favorite memories, but his impact reaches far beyond the soccer field.” These four teachers will certainly be missed, but it doesn’t look like Friar Nation will forget them anytime soon.