LZHS says farwell to Candice Glicken
March 13, 2012 • Abby Carpenter, Features Editor
Filed under Features
After a career of everything from theater production to teaching English, Candice Glicken is preparing to say goodbye to her students and the LZHS community she has known for 32 years.
“What is pretty interesting is that I never wanted to be a teacher at all,” Glicken said. “My parents would always yell at me to become a teacher; they always wanted me to get a degree in teaching. Instead, though, I got my bachelor degree at University of Illinois in Fine Arts Theater, Director, and Playwright.”
After graduating from college, Glicken dove into the theater life. She began by working at a booking agency for jazz bands. After doing that, she left and worked for Lainie Kazan, an actor/singer.
“Lainie Kazan played the bride’s mother in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. After working with her for a while, she became a very close family friend. I actually really loved her daughter, and that’s when I realized how much I liked being with kids.” Glicken said.
After leaving that job, she worked as an administrative assistant for an advertising agency, where she was the secretary for various vice presidents in the company.
“None of those were really the careers for me,” Glicken said. “I knew I liked being with kids, so I decided to go back to school, and I got my Masters of Arts in Teaching at Northwestern University. It took me 15 months straight through to get my degree.”
After Glicken found that teaching was the “career for her,” she decided to begin teaching in the fine arts department.
“My first job, I taught drama at the Disney Magnet School in Chicago. Then I taught language arts at a middle school in Highland Park,” Glicken said. “I started in Lake Zurich when I got a job replacing a fourth grade teacher at Sarah Adams who was on sick leave. Then I stayed at Sarah Adams. At the time, Sarah Adams was being housed in the May Whitney building because the Sarah Adams building was not done yet.”
Glicken taught the first students to ever go to Sarah Adams.
“It was a really fun experience. Each classroom got its own school bus, and since the building was ready during the school year, the kids got to be a part of the move and breaking in the new school,” Glicken said. “So all the kids brought all their supplies and they moved everyone to Sarah Adams, it was exciting for them, and me.”
Glicken says she loved teaching fourth grade, although she never thought she would enjoy teaching such young children. After teaching at Sarah Adams, she then moved to the junior high school, which is now May Whitney, where she taught language arts for eight years.
“Once there was a big shift financially in the district, and the theater teacher and a lot of others at the junior high were RIFed,” Glicken said. Schools would use RIF, or Reduction in Force, to formally lay off teachers at the end of each school year for budgetary reasons. “They kept me there to teach English, language arts, and drama. So, it’s really weird to say, but theater saved my job.”
In the middle of the 1989-1990 school year, a drama and English teacher at the high school quit to go into the business world. Glicken applied for the job and became the drama director for the high school, in addition to teaching English.
As for her favorite moments as an English teacher, Glicken says she loves “getting to know the kids and just seeing her students ‘get it.’”
Glicken’s one complaint about teaching, though, is all the papers she has to grade as an English teacher.
“I’m not a fast reader, which is unusual for an English teacher,” Glicken said. “Papers take forever to grade, and I agonize over every little comma, which doesn’t help.”
Her personality and relationship with her students is what Glicken thinks make her unique as a teacher.
“I definitely have a sense of humor,” Glicken said. “I try to be forgiving of students who need a little more space than I normally give to students, but if a kid takes advantage of me, I do not put up with that.”
Glicken’s most unusual experiences are the ones that make her the most grateful she became a teacher.
“About 15 years ago, I was at a restaurant in Wauconda, this eight or nine month pregnant woman comes up to me and says, ‘So, Ms. Raygo, do you remember who I am?’ I looked at her for a minute then I said, ‘Susie Bird, how are you?’ It was at least 17 years after I had her, and she remembered one activity we did in class, it really stuck with her,” Glicken said. “Every day, just like that, there is something that makes me so happy to be teacher.”