Golden Eagles retire pillars of school

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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Del Oro High School recently retired two seasoned teachers and one of its most optimistic sports proponents. Athletic Director Monty White retired after 24 years spent at Del Oro where he also served as an assistant principal, teacher and coach. But he’ll still be on campus in fall when he coaches the junior varsity girls water polo team with his daughter Stephanie, who is now a teacher at Del Oro. White said the hardest part of retirement will be losing his interaction with students. “The deal is I love working with our youth. The hardest part is knowing that I won’t have the opportunity to be involved with kids on a daily basis anymore” White said. When asked which school sports teams inspired him, White named two coaches who he believed to be exemplary – Jen Isaac and Mike Takayama. He said Isaac “is incredible at teaching life skills through tennis.” He lauded Takayama for his longevity and “26 years of impacting kids lives.” White said Justin Cutts will take over as athletic director and dean of students. He said Cutts’ greatest challenge will be to help parents of athletes understand “that we all have to contribute to our athletic programs,” and “the site money isn’t there and there is no free ride for anybody.” Another teaching icon, Mark Hayward, retired from the school’s English department, after a 36-year teaching career. “I’m leaving here a happy man. It’s a nice community and the kids are great,” Hayward said. While he won’t be teaching at Del Oro come fall, Hayward plans to continue teaching freshman English at Sierra College. “I love literature. I love Shakespeare and I really like teaching writing,” Hayward said. Hayward did say he plans to read more during his retirement. “I love to read and I will read some old classics and I’ll try to get healthier by going to the gym, eating healthier and hitting the weights,” Hayward said. Hayward said he will miss the school spirit and plans to come back for the games and to attend teacher alumni events. Biology teacher Charles Gieck is Del Oro’s third retiree after wracking up 35 years of teaching. Gieck, a 1969 Del Oro graduate, taught biology, advanced biology and Earth science. He is also a former football and track coach. “I grew up in Loomis, I liked the community spirit,” he said. Gieck said he was not always a teacher. He said he sold cars for his father-in-law before coming to the conclusion it was not the career he wanted. “I like kids,” Gieck said. Gieck said he plans to substitute teach at Del Oro as a “way to ease out.” He also said he plans to spend a lot of time fishing for trout on the Sacramento River in his boat. The Auburn Journal’s Sports Reporter Sara Seyydin contributed to this story.