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Traughber Principal Reflects on 18 Years of Service

Upon his retirement, Dr. Ralph Kober looks back at changes.

Dr. Ralph Kober. Credit: Oswego School District 308
Dr. Ralph Kober. Credit: Oswego School District 308
When it came to decorating Dr. Ralph Kober’s office for his upcoming retirement, staff at Traughber Junior High School took the job seriously. 

The decorations began with a Cinco de Mayo theme on May 5 and progressed from there. Rainbow and “You Are My Sunshine” themed days followed. Quotes and jokes about retirement scrawled on black paper and placed throughout his office stayed on display for the duration of the month.

On the Tuesday following Memorial Day—the students’ second-to-last day of school—black paper covered Kober’s door, desk, and office walls. The door to his office said, “Keep calm and put your feet up.” 

The decorated office is just a microcosm of the change that Kober has seen over his nearly two decades at Traughber Junior High School. As he prepared to leave his longstanding position for retirement, Kober reflected on his time at Traughber from his office chair.

“I’m going to miss working with kids. That is first and foremost,” Kober said. “After that, I’m going to miss the staff. There are people in this building who have been here the entire 18 years that I’ve been here.”

As a percentage the people who have been at Traughber longer than Kober is small. Only four out of 93 adults in the building trump him for seniority—the other 89 make up a big part of the change he has seen. 

“When you work with somebody that long, you get to know them quite well,” said Assistant Principal Rene Garren, who is one of the four people who have been at Traughber longer than Kober. “That’s what makes it so nice. You have that bond.” 

Visit the Oswego School District 308 website to read more.

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