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

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

6 staff, non-high school faculty will also retire this year

Midway staff
This year, six esteemed members of the Laboratory Schools faculty from middle, lower and early childhood schools as well as staff are set to retire, each leaving behind a legacy of dedication and impact.

This year, six esteemed members of the Laboratory Schools faculty from middle, lower and early childhood schools as well as staff are set to retire, each leaving behind a legacy of dedication and impact.


Emma Foster-White

Ms. Foster-White, a lower school assistant librarian, joined in November 2016. Transitioning from the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library, she adapted to the vibrant energy of young learners. 

Emma Foster-White

“It was a big shift because, you know, with the high school kids, they basically just needed little assistance,” she said. “But the little kids, especially third graders when they first come in, they need a lot of work. But I adjusted to it. I love the kids. It’s, you know, they’re the reason why I stayed here so long.”

She plans to retire so she can take care of her ill parents, joining her husband, William White, who is also retiring this year from the Joseph Regenstein Library.

She expressed appreciation and well wishes to the remaining Lab community. 

“Thank you all for letting me be a part of the Lab community, and I hope that the Lab continues to grow and strive as it is now,” she said. “And I just wish all of my coworkers and everyone at Lab the best.”


Thomas Luthy

Mr. Luthy, middle school math teacher, transitioned to Lab after a rewarding career in public education and consulting in the south suburbs in 2011. Now at 74, he is preparing for his retirement, excited to travel with his family. 

Thomas Luthy

“We’re going to Yosemite this summer, and then we’re doing a Mediterranean cruise in the fall,” he said.

Mr. Luthy has appreciated the mutual respect from his math department peers, seeing many colleagues come and go.

“Probably one of the most memorable moments was when my colleague Chris Freeman passed away,” he said. “He and I worked really closely. Lab lost a really good teacher and one of the kindest people I ever met.”

Mr. Luthy offers a final word of advice to students on perseverance and focus. 

“Just keep working hard. Keep your eyes ahead,” he said. “Don’t get caught up in all the minutiae of middle school and high school.”


Sandra Mulholland

Ms. Mulholland, an assistant teacher in the early childhood school, has been a steadfast presence at Lab since 1999. Her journey into education began unexpectedly while she was working on a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. 

Sandra Mulholland

One of Ms. Mulholland’s most memorable moments was her class’ turtle marriage. 

“One of the funniest things that happened at Lab was when the kids decided they wanted baby turtles, and they planned a whole wedding for the turtles,” she said. “It was a project that could only take place at Lab.”

She decided to retire due to her family’s needs. She wants to spend time with her husband who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and be there for her daughter, who is pregnant with her first child.

Her final words to the community are heartfelt and visionary.

“Just know what a special place this is and try to preserve it,” she said. “Growth for growth’s sake isn’t good.”


Delores Rita

Ms. Rita, a lead teacher for nursery school and kindergarten, has spent over two decades educating young members of Lab. She began at Lab in 1993. In 2000, she left to start her family and returned in 2006. As she approaches her retirement, she plans to shift her focus toward teaching future educators. 

Delores Rita

“I’m hoping to teach teachers, particularly undergraduates who want to be early childhood teachers,” she said. “I’m advocating for play because I believe that is how young children learn best.”

Ms. Rita cherishes the personal connections she’s made at Lab, particularly those involving her creative classroom activities. 

“Right now, I am making a unicorn, dinosaur, mermaid world. We are transforming our classroom and creating stories for the students to act out,” she said.

As she prepares to leave, she reflects on the powerful community ties at Lab. 

“What I’m going to miss about Lab is being in the classroom with the children, of course, and the connections with the families because Lab really fosters that with the younger students,” she said.


Terry Shanks

Mr. Shanks, the boys locker room attendant, has been an important figure in guiding young students through their teenage years since 1998. As he approaches retirement, he hopes to give back to the community in meaningful ways. 

Terry Shanks

“I plan to work with alcoholics and addicts, work with people that’ve been incarcerated. It’s a lot of avenues that I got options to work with, but those are the most important,” he said.

Throughout his time at Lab, Mr. Shanks has cherished his interactions with the students. He says many still come back to see him. 

One of his most memorable experiences comes from the extraordinary people he has met through his job. 

“The most memorable moment is the friendship that I have, like the Duncans, and I got to meet the president of the United States before he was the president. But I think those types of things were very important,” he said.

Mr. Shanks’ final words to the community reflect his values and his hopes for the future. 

He said, “I just want y’all to remember to always be careful and do the right things for the right reasons.”


Sheila Woods

Ms. Woods, an Information Systems support technician, has been a cornerstone of the community since she joined in September 1987. Ms. Woods had previously worked at the University Registrar’s office.

Sheila Woods

As she approaches retirement after 36 years, Ms. Woods is excited to interact more with her family and explore her personal passions. 

“I plan to spend time with my family, travel and read a lot. I have a 9-year-old grandson that I’ll spend time with,” she said

Throughout her time at Lab, she has cherished the social aspects of her role. 

“I’m a people person, so it’s been interesting meeting so many different kinds of personalities,” she said.

One of her fondest memories is the annual Connections gala. 

“At Connections, you get a chance to, you know, be social with the people that you work with and parents that come in and out of the building,” she said.

As she leaves, she advises the Lab community to keep a positive mindset. 

“My final words to anybody that I meet is don’t stress the small stuff,” she said. “You know, just, be in the moment that you are, and enjoy it.”

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About the Contributor
Edward Park
Edward Park, Assistant Editor
Edward Park is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as an assistant editor. He joined the journalism staff in the 2022-23 school year as a sophomore. Outside of journalism, Edward enjoys watching sports and cooking for his family.

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