Shorewood bids goodbye to retiring teachers

Retiring teachers reflect on their time at Shorewood High School and discuss future plans.


Leland Hanewall

Amy Clark, math teacher, Andy Carey, social studies teacher and LIsa Bromley, physical education teacher, smile for a photo. The three teachers will be retiring this year and will be missed by many.

Lisa Bromley

Lisa Bromley, physical education teacher, has taught for 32 years in Shorewood and is leaving behind a legacy of delicious brownies and the cherished Shorewood games.

One of Bromley’s greatest contributions to Shorewood has been the organization of the Shorewood games, done every four years. The first games was completed to benefit the MACC fund, [Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer] because of a student at the high school with cancer in 1987.

“I would say one of my favorite memories would be everytime we did the Shorewood games and see the kids go so hard for a greater cause outside of themselves,” Bromley said. “That was always so powerful and I was always so incredibly proud to be part of the Shorewood school district when you do do something like that.”

The school collectively raised over $400,000 for the MACC fund over the years. The creation of the games came from a student idea originating in a health class. The students had conversations on how to increase school spirit and incorporate an element of service.

Other memorable experiences came from her time in the classroom.

“Everytime you teach health education classes and the sensitive subjects that we talk about, you always get funny memories because of that because discussions and working with kids and their inquisitive nature. The questions they ask don’t always come out correctly and there’s been some good laughs. It was a lot of fun, I’ll miss that.”

The lack of a school schedule in retirement will be foreign for Bromley, as she’s spent the last 34 years, two years in Whitefish Bay, teaching and being governed by bells. She looks forward to not being driven by the bells and clock.

“I want to do some volunteer work, I want to still stay active with the MACC fund, I want to still be a part of the humane society with animals. There’s things that I finally get to do that I’ve never had time to do in the past that I think will be very very rewarding, so I look forward to that.”

Although Bromley will be retiring, she will be keeping busy and active.

“In my newfound free time I will be reading a whole lot more, I will be recreating a whole lot more, and I will be doing some traveling, which I look forward to. I’m going to take a trip with my three kids and their significant others in December to Vermont to go see Bromley mountain, it’s a huge ski resort. I can’t wait to do that. And I didn’t have to check a schedule…”

In addition to traveling in her freetime, Bromley will also be able to indulge in other interests.

“There is a stack of books in my house that I’m finally going to get to read and I can’t wait to tackle them. I can’t wait to have time to do that. To sit in the morning with a cup of tea and not have to race to work, I think that sounds like fun.”

A poster in Bromley’s room reads “The best journeys are when you just pack up and go where your heart takes you” and represents her MO.

“There’s some job opportunities, some iron in the fire, but I’m not going to jump at anything right away. I’m going to chill for a while and see what I want to do, how it feels, that kind of thing.”

Bromley’s parting words to Shorewood are “Keep it classy, Shorewood” and she wishes them the best in their ongoing pursuit of education.

“I would probably quote Sami Ghani [alumnus class of 2009] who was a former student here, and … everytime he would quit the announcements he would say ‘Keep it classy, Shorewood’ and that was always his parting ways and I always thought ‘Keep it classy, Shorewood.’”

Reflecting on her time in Shorewood, Bromley will miss a lot about Shorewood.

“I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity for 32 years to work in such a good district. I’ve worked alongside some of the best colleagues and administrators that are in the business. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many great students and no two days are ever the same, no two hours are ever the same, and I’ll miss that, but I’m also very grateful for the opportunity to play out my career here, no pun intended. I’ve been blessed and I’d like to say thank you.”

Amy Clark

Amy Clark, math teacher, rounds out her 30th year of teaching in Shorewood this year and has been in Shorewood for 29 years.

“I am retiring from teaching, but plan to work/volunteer in some field outside of education – I am excited about the possibilities,” Clark said.

Clark also looks forward to traveling in her newfound free time, especially in non-peak travel times.

According to Clark, the biggest changes she has seen around Shorewood have involved technology and cell phones. Clark has taken advantage of her SmartBoard to tap into her creative side while teaching.

“I truly love math and have enjoyed the challenge of trying to get my students to appreciate and understand the concepts. When I got my SmartBoard, I found it much easier to make my lessons interesting as I had so many more resources to use. I could tap into my creative side. I also like incorporating quirky traditions like the puns, palindromes and questions of the day.”

Like Lisa Bromley, physical education teacher, Clark echoes the words of a former student, “Stay classy Shorewood!” as her words of wisdom for the students and staff.

Clark will miss several things about Shorewood.

“I will miss developing relationships with students and families, watching students mature and grow from freshmen to seniors, and working with talented colleagues. I am so grateful that I worked in a community that values education and teachers.”

However, there will be some things that Clark will not miss about Shorewood.

“I will not miss Monday mornings, trying to park in the SHS lot after it snows, the copy machine and the smell of sharks coming from the AP Biology room at the end of the school year.”

Andy Carey

Since stepping foot onto the high school campus in August of 1989, Andy Carey, social studies teacher, has worked 30 non-consecutive years in Shorewood, taking a year off for more schooling and taking a different job for a year and a half.

Carey plans to spend the summer as a normal summer, forming more definite plans towards August and September. 

“One is to improve the golf game, secondly, a couple different things, but probably find some part time jobs,” Carey said. “The one that’s most appealing right now is my daughter is a manager at Fiddleheads coffee shop up in Menomonee Falls, so I might go work for my daughter. It would be a lot of fun. So we’ve talked a little about that.”

Given the number of years Carey has spent at the high school, he has gathered a multitude of memories and experiences.

“Nobody’s going to remember this, but it was probably my second year here, we had a guy by the name of Alvin Law and … he was a thalidomide baby, so he was born without any arms. They had him come in and speak, to the point where they actually brought the intermediate school here and it’s probably the fullest I’ve ever seen the auditorium. For an hour and a half he spoke and was just absolutely captivating.”

Carey also witnessed the football team’s notorious losing streak and eventual win.

“My first seven years here, the football team did not win a single game and I remember their first victory, and the athletic director who was a close friend of mine and he was in the middle of the field, soaking all that in, realizing that albatross has been taken off.”

The many students that have passed through the high school and Carey’s classroom also yielded great memories.

“[I remember] the fantastic students that have been through there and getting to know them and realizing that we are a stepping stone for them and being with the students and seeing the energy and the challenges that they present sometimes.”

Carey recently attended his son’s graduation from Colorado College and witnessed Oprah as the commencement speaker. From this he drew words of wisdom for the students and staff.

“One of the things she was saying was ‘live in a life of service’ and kind of fulfilling the best that you can be and helping other people be the best that they can be. Keep things in perspective of what’s important and serving other people.”

According to Carey, he was hired the same year as icons Rudy Gelina, guidance counselor and John Jacobson, social studies teacher and now, Carey is exiting with department greats/icons, Lisa Bromley, physical education teacher and Amy Clark, math teacher, a great privilege.