Carolyn grew up in Lincoln and graduated from Lincoln Community High
School, where she was involved with theater. She attended Illinois
State University, where she had majored in communications and
minored in English. When she returned to college, it was to obtain
her teaching certificate. Her first teaching position was at
Williamsville, where she also was in charge of the theater
A highlight in her first year of teaching was when
the contest play she directed was chosen for state competition. She
sat next to Barry Kantz, her English instructor from LCHS. He was
also the dance and theater director and speech coach. It was a
privilege to be competing with the person she had learned from, and
he treated her not like a former student, but as an equal. She
realized she had come to the right place when she had decided to
teach and return to theater.
A year later she was chosen for a position at LCHS and began
teaching English there, directing plays and coaching speech.
Throughout her 24-year teaching career, she and her students went to
state each year with contest plays. Winning a position at state
competition is like being nominated for an Academy Award. It is a
special acknowledgement in itself. Her plays garnered fourth place
"You never knew how being involved with the theater is going to
impact a student," Mrs. Schreiber said. "It encourages them to find
a creative side they didn't know they had. One young man seemed to
have no interest, but he tried. Now he lives in New York City and
designs sets for the Metropolitan Opera and also created several for
the television show, ‘Ugly Betty.' Another is in Hollywood and was a
dancer in ‘Glee.'
"The first young man had to be coaxed to find something he might
like to do with stage production," she remembers, "and after he
realized he enjoyed and was capable of creating the backdrops and
props, his whole personality changed."
"There are things that go on out here (at the high school) that
no one knows about," she said. "My students presented a Halloween
Spooktacular, a safety show for kindergarten through third-grade
students. They didn't just perform on stage, but took their talent
into the community."
Mrs. Schreiber has been involved with a variety of projects that
incorporated reading and English skills. She taught Response to
Intervention, a statewide reading program. In those classes, she
instructed students on reading skills, vocabulary and word
"The RTI classes made a tremendous impact," she said. "It was the
best thing the English department did since I came here. It tested
the students' abilities and brought everything together."
Her time at LCHS has not been a one-way street. She will take
memories and lessons learned from students and the experiences she
shared with them.
"There is not one school year when I didn't learn something,
whether it was in the classroom with students or during play
productions," she said. "Something new came to the surface or was
realized from working with the students."
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"I have been the head of the English department for several
years, and I will miss this group," she said. "We are a close-knit
bunch and work well together. Some departments don't have as many
teachers as we do, and the variety lends to new ideas."
After retirement Carolyn would like to garden more. "It is
therapeutic," she believes, "and you can get lost in your thoughts,
away from everything else that is going on.
"I sing in Lambs, a choir at my church and sew blankets every
week with the church ladies," she said when asked about her
extracurricular activities. She would like to learn to play piano,
and she would like to write about education.
Her husband, Steven, is retired from pharmacy management but
teaches part time at Lincoln College. Even with his schedule, they
will now have more time to go places, but they are content to be
homebodies. There may be some short bus trips or day trips later. At
home, Carolyn has intentions to straighten and clean nooks and
crannies she hasn't had time for while working.
The Schreibers have four daughters, with two in the education
field. Rebecca is the assistant principal at a high school in
Naperville. Carrie, the youngest, actually taught English and
coached speech and theater at LCHS for eight years. Now she is an Ag
in the Classroom instructor. Jessica is the director for the state's
oversight department for alcohol and drug counselors. Gretchen is a
compliance consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
"I have really enjoyed my time at LCHS," Carolyn said, "and I
will miss the people and being involved with the students. But now I
can do what I want to do, when I want to do it. I know there are
things I haven't even thought of which will find their way into my
[By MARLA BLAIR]
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