Retiring teacher interview: Gwen Montag


Kelsey Keranen

Gwen Montag, a special services teacher at West since 1995, talks about her experience at the school and her plans for post-retirement.

West Side Story: What first brought you to West High?

Gwen Montag: I came to West High in 1995 when I moved to the Iowa City area with my family from Denver, Colorado.  Both my husband and I were Iowa natives and were ready to move back to be closer to our families.

WSS: What was a memorable moment from your time at the school?

GM: A special thing during my time at West as the year that both of my sons were here at West with me (2006-2007).  My sons, Mark and Eric Less graduated fro West in 2007 and 2010 respectively.  Working in the school where your sons are students is a great experience.

WSS: What will you miss the most about West High?

GM: The things I will miss the most about working at West High will be: #1, the students.  Over my 35 years of teaching, the best thing has always been working with the students.  The #2 thing I will miss here are my awesome co-workers.  This is a great place to work!

WSS: What has been one of your favorite parts of the school?

GM: One of my favorite things that happened here was in 2005 when I got to move to a brand new room in the Ninth Grade Center.  I have worked in 14 different school buildings during my career and Room 238 was the best and newest room I ever worked in.

WSS: What are some of your plans for after retirement?

GM: While I am retiring from full-time teaching, I may be spotted doing substitute teaching around the area.  I look forward to having more time for my sewing ministry of making Healing Blankets for the Children’s Hospital.  I will also have more time for working in my flower beds and for reading.  My new mantra is: “so many books, so little time.”