The student news site of Solon High School

The SHS Courier

The SHS Courier

The SHS Courier

Join the Courier Mailing List
Get the latest updates delivered directly to your inbox.
We respect your privacy.

Chemistry teacher Sue Kenzig retiring this year

Vidhissha Sharma
Sue Kenzig in her classroom.

Physics teacher Melissa Hughes describes her good friend, Chemistry teacher Susan Kenzig as “kind, patient and an angel.”

The 2023-2024 school year will be Kenzig’s final year before retiring.

Kenzig started her journey as a chemist for 13 years before teaching.

“I went to Notre Dame College for Chemistry, and I graduated with a bachelor’s, and I worked for what was BP America,” Kenzig said. “Then I went to a place called Ferro Corporation.”

After her experience as a chemist, she stayed home for five years with her family and five kids. Then she began her journey of teaching. She ends her career with one year at Tri-C and 19 years at SHS.

“My husband at the time told me to teach at Tri-C on the weekends because that’s where he worked,” Kenzig said. “I did and I loved it, and so I thought about teaching high school, and it was going to take me a year and half to get my teaching certificate. So I went back to Notre Dame [College] and it all worked out, and so here I am and I have been here ever since.”

Hughes remembers the first time she met Kenzig.

“She was hired two years before me,” Hughes said. “So when I came to Solon, I got assigned a mentor. My mentor was Mr. Fabo, but I was also teaching chemistry. Mrs. Kenzig adopted me, and she really helped me get my foot in the door as to what Solon was. But she also worked in industry– so she was new to teaching, and I had taught for 16 years, but she was the chemistry expert, so the first time we met, we clicked.”

Hughes has so many memories with Kenzig from their time teaching together, but said what she will miss the most is their early morning talks.

“Every single morning we are the two earliest people in the building,” Hughes said. “So every morning we have a moment to talk and ask about each other and not talk about work.”

From over all of the years of friendship and early morning talks, Kenzig has taught Hughes a big thing, patience.

“She is very giving and has reminded me sometimes to slow down, look at the world and embrace my family,” Hughes said.

Kenzig remembers all the good and bad times from her career at SHS. Kenzig’s love for elephants is a well known thing among her students who knew just what they wanted to get her at the end of the year.

Kenzig’s stuffed elephant, a gift from former students.

“I was having a very bad year, and I don’t know if the kids knew that, but for Christmas they gave that [elephant stuffed animal] to me.”

From her time teaching at SHS, Kenzig’s favorite thing has been sharing her love of chemistry but also just being able to interact with all her students. She wants to leave all her students with her passion for chemistry.

“I hope they remember that I love chemistry and that I was always here for them and all they had to do was ask and I was there,” Kenzig said.

Kenzig said she also hopes that she came across as genuine. When Anastasiya Vygovska, one of Kenzig’s peer leaders and former students, first had her as a teacher, she noticed Kenzig’s knack for teaching.

“My favorite thing about her is she dedicates herself to her teaching,” Vygovska said. “That is the first thing she says every single year that if they [students] need help she is there. She is a teacher for a reason.”

Hughes said one of Kenzig’s standout traits is her positivity.

“She has always been very supportive and willing to listen,” Hughes said. “Easy to laugh. She is like sunshine to me. She’s going to be missed.”

Kenzig will also be missed by students.

“I think I will look up to her as a person who tries her best,” Vygovska said. “She tries her best and that’s all that matters because that’s how she is with her students.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The SHS Courier Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *