Retiring teachers reflect on decades of time at ETHS: Gary Haller


Gary Haller (back row, second from left) has been a core member of the Career and Technical Education Department at ETHS

Sophia Siddiqui, Staff Writer

After 17 dedicated years at ETHS, career and technical education (CTE) teacher Gary Haller is retiring. When Haller first arrived at ETHS in 2006, the CTE department consisted of a singular AP computer science program, one intro to programming course and a web design class. Through years of dedicated work and countless hours spent both in and outside of the classroom, Haller and his coworkers were able to develop the department into something much bigger. 

“We’ve added a second AP computer science course, a game design and programming course, a cybersecurity class and the information technology internship (ITI) program, which does the Chromebook repair work and operates the ChromeZone a couple of times during the school day,” Haller said. “Personally, I launched the AP course, as well as the game design, cybersecurity, programming and ITI courses.” 

More than just the various classes and programs that have been developed and expanded under Haller throughout his term at ETHS, he has devoted countless hours to the growth of the ChromeZone. Jenny Weber, an Evanston CTE teacher who has worked closely with Haller since 2015, reflected on the impact Haller has had on the community. 

“[Haller] constantly pushed for newer curricula and courses to be offered here at ETHS,” Weber said. “ I think our greatest achievement is the significant growth of the ChromeZone. There is a lot that goes into running and operating that specific course and he is the one that is always in contact with our ACER supplier and [manages] reordering parts. He truly takes it beyond the classroom.”

Haller is leaving behind an extraordinary legacy, and his impact will continue to be felt by students for years to come.

“I have regret in not being able to be around to see [juniors and below] off because I’ve seen many of them from freshman up to this point,” Haller said on his retirement. “There’s so many students with so much promise, and, unfortunately, I won’t be able to see them graduate.”

Haller also paid homage to the graduating class of 2023, “I wish you well and much success.”

The next chapter for Haller includes traveling the world with his wife and eventually moving closer to his three grandchildren, who live out of state. 

“Before I came into teaching, I worked for two years in different parts of United Airlines, so I traveled pretty extensively already and loved it. The goal of this trip is to get many of the spots that [my wife and I] hadn’t hit yet and also to go back to some of our favorite places,” Haller said. 

As Haller enjoys his international travel, the impact of his tenure at ETHS will be felt by all. 

“[The school] would not be what it is today without his support, guidance and leadership,” Weber said.