Lasting legacy

This year we don’t only say goodbye to seniors, we also say goodbye to retiring teachers and staff


John Moore watches his history students’ history mystery presentations. Max Kiernan (10) said, “Mr. Moore always made class fun with his sarcastic sense of humor and engaging activities.”

Adam Chodkowski, Reporter

This year, administrative assistant Joni Sherk (not pictured) and history teacher John Moore will be retiring from their positions. Both staff members have had long careers in their respective fields.

“I have been here 17 years, starting in 2005,” Sherk said. “Prior to that straight out of college, I worked at a bank as a loan officer for ten years. After that I took ten years off to raise my boys, then started working here.”

While Sherk has spent a long time here at Oakwood, Moore has also had a long and storied career in teaching.

“I am concluding my 35th year of teaching,” Moore said. “19 years at Oakwood, 13 years at Waynesville, and three years at Southeastern High School in Clark County.”

In their time here, both have had fond memories of events and groups at Oakwood. These memories have left a mark that neither will forget. 

“It would be the many students who have enriched my life,” Moore said. “My best memory from Oakwood besides the classroom is 15 years of coaching the academic team to SWBL (South Western Buckeye League) titles almost every year.” 

While Moore coached the academic quiz team to a SWBL victory again this season, Sherk also has fond memories connected to the postseason with her son.

“I have had many fun memories in my years,” Sherk said. “The most fun I can remember was when my son’s football team ended up making it to the second round of football, we rented a spirits bus to head up to …. I don’t remember if we won or lost but it didn’t matter cause we had so much fun. “

Both have felt an impact from their experiences; however, they have also left an impact on their coworkers. 

“It really has been a joy working with Mrs. Shrek,” Lori Peters, an administrative assistant said. “She is fun, energetic, kind and easy to work with.” 

Matt Deters, fellow history teacher, and long time friendly rival of Moore has similar opinions of his coworker.

“Mr. Moore really knows what he is teaching,” Matt Deters, a history teacher, said. “He loves American history and he really loves what he is doing and he knows his stuff. We have had a very fun friendly rivalry that has made it fun to come to work.” 

Overtime, they have also collected memories that they share with students every year.

“I was teaching geography and we were talking about rivers and how rivers flow,” Moore said. “And I was teaching in Africa and I said ‘now you can see here on the map that the Nile river flows from down south here all the way up to the Mediterranean sea’. Then a young lady raised her hand and I knew kind of what she was going to  ask and I was trying to not have her ask the question but she asked it anyway, and she said ‘well Mr. Moore, how does the Nile river flow uphill?’ Then I had to tell her that the Nile doesn’t flow uphill and I had to explain that the region to the south is higher in elevation.”

These members of the staff are now moving on to a new chapter of their lives.