Rocky Fork Enterprise

Hank and Beth Langhals

G-J educators to close book on long careers

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She has been a High Point Elementary School third-grade teacher for 25 years. He has worked in various positions for the Gahanna schools for 36 years, most recently as coordinator for pupil services and curriculum.

Together, Hank and Beth Langhals have 62 years of experience serving the Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, from which they both will retire at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

"I've loved being a teacher," Mrs. Langhals said. "There's mixed emotions about it. I love the kids and school, but I'm ready to start a new adventure."

Langhals helped open High Point 25 years ago, after spending a year at Jefferson Elementary School.

"This is my home," she said. "There are only a few of us left that opened the building. We say we're the founding people who opened the building. It has been a wonderful experience and school."

Langhals said she enjoys her job so much that she never counts the days until summer break.

"I cry every year at the end," she said. "This year will be very hard, knowing it will be my last."

Hank Langhals taught social studies and coached football for 13 years, served as Lincoln High School assistant principal for two years, was Middle School West's assistant principal for three years, served as Middle School East principal for 10 years and is in his eighth year of working at the central office.

Prior to joining G-J, he also taught social studies for three years at Hartley High School.

"It's very difficult to leave," he said. "I like looking for ways to better prepare our students for the world they will face. I like working with teachers, parents and administrators."

When he left the principal position at MSE eight years ago, Mr. Langhals said, he had no idea how much he would miss seeing and working with the students.

"Though in this job, I still see and interact with students, I still miss the day-to-day interaction and watching them learn and grow," he said. "With retirement, that is what I will miss most of all."

During his first few years of college at Bluffton University, several professors asked him if he had thought about a teaching career.

"That is what originally got me started in education," Mr. Langhals said.

Mrs. Langhals said she always knew she wanted to become a teacher.

"When I was a child, I used to play school," she said. "It's a love I've had since I was a small child."

In college, she earned degrees in recreation, special education and elementary education.

"At first I wanted to run a camp for handicapped," she said. "I realized that was hard to make a living. I did work as camp manager at several camps in Kentucky."

Today she considers herself a neighborhood teacher, living only a mile from High Point.

"I have kids who stop by the house all the time," she said. "I tell them to stop by. We're in the neighborhood and walk to the park. We're local and like it that way. That's the way we are."

Because her mother died at a young age, Mrs. Langhals said, she treasures what she has, including good health.

"We're both healthy and plan to see what life has to offer," she said. "We'll stay involved in the community."

Mr. Langhals said they plan to travel and spend more time at their second home in Steamboat Springs, Colo., and he might seek part-time work.

"We're outdoors people and love to hike," Mrs. Langhals said. "I want to get into photography. There will be time to explore that. We're ready to do those next adventures."

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