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U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

Midway will be taking a break over the summer
After reminiscing with fond memories, Class of 2024 graduates in Rockefeller Chapel

For 35 years, U-High’s elegant caretaker

Loved and loving secretary Carol Arrington retires
Henry Benton
SWEET SECRETARY. After 35 years of service in the high school office, Carol Arrington will retire at the end of this year. “Ms. Carol” touched many hearts during her time at U-High.

Carol Arrington sits in the U-High office, with a stature of elegance and support, overseeing and taking care of the high school administrators, faculty and students, even if she’s easy to miss. Caring is often used to describe Ms. Arrington, so the portmanteau her Lab email creates is appropriate: carring.

“That is how she is known, that is how many people she has touched,” said Latin teacher Frances Spaltro, who served for a year as interim principal. “Every student, every adult that walks into that office understands how caring she is.” 

In 35 years working at Lab, Ms. Arrington has been a caretaker for the school through all of its changes, making many connections, and she will retire after this school year. 

Ms. Arrington started working at Lab because she wanted to have a similar schedule as her sons, who graduated from U-High in 1995 and ’97. Working at their school was the best option for her and her family, although she never expected to be at Lab for 35 years. 

“I’ve made a lot of friendships here, and that’s very special to me,” Ms. Arrington said. “It wasn’t just a job. I had a close relationship with a number of faculty and staff — though some of them have retired long ago — but we still stay in touch, and that’s pretty special to me.” 

Everyone who has met Ms. Arrington would tell you the same thing, Ms. Spaltro said, no matter if you’re a student, parent, a faculty member or staff, Ms. Arrington is the most caring person ever. 

In her retirement, Ms. Arrington plans to take care of her husband until his medical needs subside and they can start traveling together again. 

“I love to travel. So if I’m able to, I certainly will,” Ms. Arrington said. “My husband and I used to travel a lot. Right now he’s not able to do that. So it would be wonderful if we could do that again, and I look forward to that.”

Ms. Spaltro met Ms. Arrington 20 years ago when she started teaching at U-High as a graduate student at the University of Chicago. 

Ms. Arrington helped Ms. Spaltro adjust to working at Lab, and later she helped Ms. Spaltro get through one of the hardest times of her life, serving as interim principal in 2015-16. 

“That is when we became truly very close because I could not have done that without her,” Ms. Spaltro said. “That year was a difficult year for the high school in general but was also the year that my little brother died, and it was very sudden and I don’t think I could’ve gotten through that and continued to work without Ms. Carol.” 

After everything that Ms. Arrington has done to care for Ms. Spaltro, she had one final remark, signaling her love to Ms. Arrington and her endless appreciation for knowing her.

“I love you Ms. Carol,” Ms. Spaltro said. “I tell you that every time I see you, I love you. It’s not just a sort of ‘She’s so awesome in the workplace’ kind of friendship — it goes way beyond that.”

Ever diplomatic and humble, Ms. Arrington has embraced her role with grace, becoming the symbol of care that she is.

“Well, I guess I am kind of a caretaker in a way because whatever is needed, whether it’s faculty, parents, students, this is one of the main stops that they come to, and I do my best to help them get what they need. So, yeah, caretaker sounds pretty good.”

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About the Contributors
Chloe Alexander
Chloe Alexander, Arts Editor
Chloë Alexander is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as the arts editor. She joined the journalism family in the 2021-22 school year as a ninth grader and previously served as an assistant editor. Chloë enjoys journalism because it allows her to create a space for Lab students to be represented through writing. Her favorite story that she has written is “‘SOS’ showcases a wide range of styles and themes.” Outside of working on the Midway, she is a Maroon Key, plays the piano and enjoys reading. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, Boston convention: Honorable mention, feature writing 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, San Francisco convention: Honorable mention, news editing, headline and current events 2023 Scholastic Press Association of Chicago, special coverage: (with Clare O’Connor, Amy Ren and William Tan), superior 2022 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award: Briefs writing, first place (with Louis Auxenfans, Joaquin Figueroa, Chloe Ma, Amy Ren, Katie Sasamoto-Kurisu), Vol. 98, Issue 8 (March 10, 2022), Page 3
Henry Benton
Henry Benton, Photographer
Henry Benton is an editor and a member of the Class of 2025. His favorite part of photojournalism is being with a team. The most fulfilling part of PhotoJ is seeing your photos in the paper. Outside of photojournalism Henry enjoys boxing, music and video games. Awards: 2022 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award: Photo slideshow, certificate of merit (with Andrew Burke-Stevenson, Malcolm Taylor, Matt Petres, Chloe Ma and Patrice Graham), “Photo gallery: Faculty face off in Homecoming arm wrestling tournament”

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    Janis HighJun 4, 2024 at 11:38 am

    Carol has been a dearest friend of mine for years as we lived on the same street in Texas for many years. Her gentle and quiet spirit camouflage the strength within her. We very seldom see each other, but my love for her and her family will never waver.
    Congratulations on your retirement! Wishing you much happiness in this next chapter of your life.