Longtime St. Paul Westlake teacher Jim Osborn to retire
Jim Osborn has touched the lives of literally thousands of students during his 46-year teaching career. Twenty-one of those years have been spent in the classrooms of St. Paul Westlake. Osborn, 67, will retire at the conclusion of the current school year.
“This is by far the best place I’ve ever been,” said the veteran educator. “The congregation and staff are so welcoming.”
His fifth-grade classroom is full of the reason he gets up each morning.
“It’s the kids. I really love working with them,” he said. Spend any time in his classroom and that becomes obvious. His philosophy that “a day without laughter is a day wasted,” is evident on every visit to his room.
Teaching is a family affair for Osborn. All three of his children with wife Cassandra “Cassie,” are teachers. All three are graduates of Baldwin Wallace University, and all three have master’s degrees. The pair are the parents of Charity, Jeremy and Shannon. All three Obsorn children have followed in their fathers’ footsteps, to say the least.
One teaches in Brunswick, another at St. Raphael School in Bay Village, and a third in Mechanicsburg, Virginia, where he is high school biology teacher.
Osborn says there are three things that make a great teacher.
“First and foremost, you have to love kids,” he said. "Second, you have to have lots of patience, and third, you have to laugh with them.”
He and his wife will celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary on Aug. 12.
Their nine grandchildren keep them extremely busy. Four of those nine have come through St. Paul Westlake.
Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough has proclaimed Wednesday, May 29, as “Jim Osborn Day” in the city of Westlake.
According to Clough’s mayoral proclamation, “Upon Jim’s retirement, he can be proud of the tremendous impact he has had for his legacy will continue to resonate not only within the walls of the schools he’s taught in but also within the minds of the students, parents, teachers and alumni with whom he’s come in contact over the years. I would like to encourage all residents to join me in honoring Jim for his enduring service and leadership, and wishing him continued success and happiness throughout his retirement.”
So what’s on the immediate horizon as Osborn begins his well-earned retirement?
“My wife and I would like to do some travel … see the U.S.A.” He admits that a dream would be to visit Hawaii.
He also hopes to be able to do some substitute teaching and, of course, spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Osborn is a graduate of Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He began his career at St. Mark Lutheran School in Cleveland, followed by two years at St. Charles Emmanuel Lutheran. He then moved on to St. Thomas Lutheran School in Rocky River, where he spent 21 years before joining the staff of St. Paul Westlake.
He will be honored with a special service of recognition at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, at St. Paul Westlake, 27993 Detroit Road. A second celebration, where he will be honored by the St. Paul Westlake congregation, will take place on Sunday, June 2.
How does he hope to be remembered?
“I was always there to listen … to help in any way I could … to be a friend,” Osborn said.
Rick Haase is Director of Admissions at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Westlake