Hinsdale Central specialist ‘leaps’ into retirement
Vivian Kane of Willowbrook retired from Hinsdale Central High School in December, but will stay involved with the school's Leap into Africa service club. | Kimberly Fornek—Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 4, 2013 6:25AM
HINSDALE — Vivian Kane retired in December from her job as a computer specialist with Hinsdale Central High School, after working 30 years for Hinsdale High School District 86.
Q. What were your responsibilities?
A. I did the computer backup and the help desk for the staff. Of course, the computers were different back then, they were three large washing machines, that’s what they looked like to me anyway.
Q. What brought you to District 86?
A. I came from the Florsheim shoe company.I was working downtown (in Chicago) on their computers. I was spending 12 hours a day at work. After my divorce, I wanted something closer to home. And I always wanted to be a teacher, . . . and this was the closest I could get to that.
Q. How did you learn about computers?
A. I learned it on the job. As we had conversions to different systems, the district would send me to be trained. It just came to me.
Q. What were your job responsibilities?
A. Writing reports, helping parents with home access (to their students’ records), and doing the quarterly report cards. I have to run the GPAs and do all the background work for the report cards. I also run the yearly master schedule (where the list of courses for which students registered are matched with the available class sections and time periods). That’s a huge, huge job. It takes me almost all spring.
Q. What was your favorite part of your job?
A. (Helping prepare) the master schedule. It was very stressful, but it was very challenging. And being with the staff, they’re a great staff, and the kids. I am going to miss the kids more so than the job really.
Q. How much interaction did you have with the students?
A. I’m involved with (Operation) Snowball, a weekend retreat focusing on drug prevention and keeping kids healthy. Six years ago, I became involved with the Leap into Africa club (a service club at Hinsdale Central that raises money for a math and science school in South Africa). Two years ago, we went on a trip to Cape Town. It was a very life-changing experience to see how the people lived. Cape Town was beautiful, (but outside the city) people live in metal shanty homes with dirt roads. They cook outside . . . there were no facilities.
I felt helping these students and their education will help the future of their country. I knew we did the right thing.
Q. What do you plan to do with your new free time?
A. I’ll spend more time with my grandchildren . . . and I’ll stay involved with Leap. The kids told me I could take two Fridays off, and then I had to be back.
Q. When does the club meet?
A. Every Friday morning at 7:15.