Beloved teacher heads towards retirement



At the end of the year the class of 2022 seniors will not be the only ones leaving Homewood-Flossmoor high school. Janine Stroemer will be retiring from H-F after 28 years of teaching.

Janine Stroemer is not only an English teacher at H-F, has been the face of the H-F speech team and group interpretation as its leader

During her time at H-F group interpretation placed top five in the state eleven teams and most recently won the state championship in 2018 and state runner-up in 2019.

Stroemer got involved with the speech team her very first year at H-F in 2004. Before Stroemer came to H-F she was a teacher and speech coach at Rich Central.

Stroemer had no problem adjusting to the then new team because of how good she knew H-F was at speech.

“I already knew the speech team was strong [at H-F] because we had to compete against them at Rich Central and they kept kicking our butts”, Stroemer said. 

Not only was Stroemer a great speech coach but an even better teacher, having perfect attendance for a full 11 years at one point.

“My parents instilled into me an extremely strong work ethic, sometimes to a fault. Usually the only time I’m gone is on school business,” Stroemer said.

The world has changed so much in such a little amount of time, and Stroemer has seen the change of the world through the eyes of an educator. 

For Stroemer, technology is the biggest change she has seen throughout her career.

Technology has changed “in a good and a bad way,” said Stroemer. “It can definitely interfere with things and cause distractions, but it is really useful as long as it is used in the right way.”

Stroemer is very much excited to end her teaching career and begin her new journey. Even though she is done teaching, she is not retiring. For Stroemer, this end is a new beginning. 

“I call this my soft retirement. I still have several years that I am going to continue to work,” said Stroemer. “So I am looking for a new start and something that gives me the same juices that I had through these years of teaching.”

Although Stroemer will be off forging her own path  when the school year is over, there are things about H-F she will cherish forever.. 

“There are so many moments that happened in my years of teaching, but one I have to choose is an exercise that I used to do when speech and English were separate classes,” reflected Stroemer. “The exercise allowed for students to have a lot of freedom and it always ended up with the whole class laughing and led to many humorous moments.”

Outside of the classroom, Stroemer speech teams will always have a special place in her heart.

“All the excitement of being in the top ten in the state, and being close to grabbing the prize is always fun,” Stroemer said.. “And group interpretation got two championships–how exciting is that!”

Leaving H-F, Stroemer gives her fellow teachers some positive advice: “Always look at your students as if they are a 10, everyday. You have to always erase what happened the day before and start all over again. All of us bring something and you never know what that is and sometimes you are the only thing that makes the day work.”