A new phase: former MRC tutor discusses her plans after retirement

Max Feldman, Business Manager & Spotlight Editor

From travel to volunteering, Lori Bonefas, former MRC tutor, is planning to make the most of her time after retirement. To wish her farewell, Bear Facts decided to ask her about her past experiences and her future plans.

What do you plan to do now that you have retired?

I’m going to get some new cookbooks to try some new [recipes], but my husband’s still working he’s not planning to retire yet. He travels quite a bit for his job. When our kids were growing up I had triplets, so I was home and couldn’t do a lot of traveling with him. So, now at the end of the month, we’re going to go out to Arizona, and he’s going to work from there. I also have a daughter that currently lives in Florida, and another daughter that lives in Tennessee. So I’ll be able to travel and see them a little bit. 

 

Do you have any other plans?

A couple of years ago I volunteered for dog training. There’s a group through Lutheran Church charities that’s called the Comfort Dogs. They have one up at St. Matthews here. So I think about two and a half, three years I helped out: you take golden retriever puppies from about eight to ten weeks and then you train them, and they placed them with churches around the United States. They take them out on a regular basis, so [the dogs] might go to nursing homes or schools. But then also especially when there’s a tragedy: a bad fire, a tornado, school shootings, things like that. They’ll bring the comfort dogs there for people, and they never charged or anything like that. It’s just a way for people to come in and pet the dogs, and the dogs are trained to relax. They just lay down with the people and just sit there. It’s amazing to see how people just connect with them so well. I’m actually kind of toying with the idea of going back and training again.

 

What are you going to miss most about the high school?

Oh, definitely the students and staff, for sure. In fact, I’m still doing some tutoring on the side, because that’s really what got me into it. I was actually originally a computer programmer out of college. Like I said, I had triplets and stayed home for 10 years, and then it was actually another mom who told me about the job at the high school. I said I’m not even looking for a job, you know, but she said how people can talk to the department chair about it. So it’s kinda like that was the job I never even knew I wanted, and I really loved it.

 

What was the best part of your job as an MRC tutor?

When you get that little bit of feeling when you do really know that you can help somebody and that’s the best. So that’s why it’s good that I’m going to still do that today, because then I won’t miss it quite so much. But [I will miss] the students and especially seniors, you know because it seems like you go through all four years with some of them and it’s hard leaving halfway through the year. The opportunity [for retirement] presented itself, and Mr. John’s is so awesome. That actually made it a lot easier to leave, knowing that he could take the job full time and be so great with science and math. But I am hoping I’m going to come back for maybe decision day when everybody gets to wear their shirts and write their names on the math Resource Board. I want to come back and see where everybody’s going.

 

How has the MRC grown over the years you have been there?

When we first started, you know of course it was new to all the students. 13 years ago it was fairly new and it was the first time for the MRC to be open. We would sometimes stand outside with the door open, just telling kids to come on in. I think what’s changed a little bit over the years is getting some of the freshmen to get comfortable with it. So the last couple of years, Mr. Johns and I have gone to a class with Ms. Landen to introduce ourselves to try and make sure students are coming in. We really want to help as many students as we can. So now we still have our regulars and that’s always fun to see that students are so comfortable to come in every day, but I still wish we could reach more kids. 

 

Anything else you would like to add about what your plans are for the future?

I don’t know, and that’s what’s exciting. Like I said, I was a programmer for about 12 years, I stayed home with my kids for about 10 years. And now I’ve done about 12 and a half years at the MRC. So it seems like I’m just ready for a new phase.

 

Do you have any other travel plans in the future?

In fact, my son got one of those scratch-off maps for me for Christmas, so we can scratch off all the places we’ve already been, and then all the places we’re going. I think this year I want to do some of the national parks in the United States, so we’re kind of planning United States travel right now. But if Europe came up again or something I wouldn’t say no.

 

Where would you go in Europe?

 

Rome was one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been to. I really enjoyed Rome and then my husband actually has some family still in Germany. So we’ve gone to Germany twice, and that’s always been a lot of fun, because we stay by some of his cousins and relatives.