Klockner retires after helping students rise over challenges


Priya Maraliga

Special Education teacher Lisa Klockner retires from Algonquin after this school year.

Riya Mahanta, News Editor

Special education teacher Lisa Klockner will retire after serving, supporting and dedicating 12 years of her life to the Algonquin community. 

Klockner worked closely with students in the RISE program as well as students with emotional disabilities. She helped them manage their workload, overcome challenges and motivated students to finish their high school years.

Klockner has dedicated a lot of time to the RISE program and was the first teacher in the program.

“We tried to create a program where we could meet the needs of students who might otherwise have had to go to a different school,” Klockner said. “Part of RISE is that we have smaller group classes with an emotional regulation component built into the program for students. Teachers get to know the students better with small classes; they can read the students better, for example knowing when students are having good or bad days.”

Social studies teacher Stephen Godbout worked in the RISE program for a number of years and believes Klockner played a significant role in those students’ lives. 

“She is a rock for complicated kids, wonderful kids but that can sometimes be complicated,” Godbout said. “Through her predictably and holding kids accountable yet doing so in a compassionate way, I’ve seen so many students become better students and people because of the positive and helpful impact she has had on their lives.”

According to Godbout, Klockner is a role model for all teachers.

“The building could be burning around her and she would be calm,” Godbout said. “With her calm demeanor and professionalism, she is a role model for every teacher in this building, young or old.”

Recent graduate and RISE student John Pedulla credits Klockner for his completion of high school.

“Mrs. Klockner was more than a teacher in the RISE program; she spent her time helping not only me but also others get through high school,” Pedulla said. “She helped so many people graduate and without her I don’t think I could say I would’ve.”

According to Pedulla, Klockner went the extra mile to support her students in any way that she could.

“Mrs. Klockner gave and didn’t expect anything back in return,” Pedulla said. “She would bake cakes for the students on their birthdays and bring in snacks; she would ask what people would want and bring it in if it meant helping the students through issues. I can’t be more grateful to her and she will always have a huge impact in my life.”

Klockner feels pride in seeing the growth in the students she worked with.

“I think to see some students that we had over the years who we thought would have a hard time graduating finally graduate was satisfying; I just hope I played a small part in helping them [students] get to the finish line,” Klockner said.

Although Klockner will miss the Algonquin community, she is excited to move to Maryland with her husband after retiring.

“I just feel like it’s time to retire; we already bought a house and I am ready to move onto the next chapter in my life,” Klockner said. “I look forward to traveling, just being relaxed and being able to do what I want to do.”