By: John Nee '93
In 1975, St. Rita had an all-male faculty made up of several priests and brothers along with lay teachers and coaches, but that year it all changed as Ms. Sue Whooley was hired as the first female teacher in St. Rita of Cascia High School history. As difficult as it may have been at the time being the only female in an all-male community, her courage and determination paved the way for many other women to follow in her path in making St. Rita what it has become today.
At the conclusion of the 2017-2018 academic year, Mrs. Sue Krystof will officially retire from her position in the science department at St. Rita, ending a tenure that has lasted off and on for over 40 years.
In 1986, Krystof, with the blessing of St. Rita Principal Fr. Flach, decided to leave St. Rita to have children, of which she would eventually have three. After a short stint at Moraine Valley from 1989-1993, she returned to St. Rita in 1993 until now.
St. Rita has been a family affair for the Krystofs with Sue’s husband Don completing two stints in the science department at St. Rita (1981-1988, 2008-2012). She also lists as her greatest privilege the opportunity to teach both of her sons, St. Rita grads Leo ’04 and Don ’06. While her daughter Emily (Queen of Peace Class of ’05) was not able to attend St. Rita for obvious reasons, she did share in the family Augustinian experience by graduating from Villanova University in 2009.
Mrs. Krystof is very grateful for everything St. Rita has done for her and her family through the years. She is grateful to all of her family and friends, including her parents Tom and Anne Whooley, who supported her going all the way back to the beginning of her career. She is thankful to all the past and present St. Rita teachers that she has been able to share great experiences with for all these years like seeing so many St. Rita grads become positive influences in the community. She shares in the successes of her former students who have become doctors, chemistry majors, engineering majors, policemen, and firemen, among other things. She also lists the fact that she has taught so many father-son combinations of St. Rita grads through the years as something for which she is exceptionally proud. St. Rita recognized Krystof in 2015 as she was inducted into the St. Rita Hall of Fame for her many years of exceptional service and for her courage in becoming the first female faculty member at the school.
To those of us who know her best -- her friends, colleagues, and former students --we will miss her out-going personality, her genuine smile, and even her stories that at times seem to go on and on and on. St. Rita will be losing a great woman at the end of this school year. Someone who will not be easily replaced, but as they say, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!
Thank you Mrs. Sue Krystof for everything YOU have done for St. Rita, and for the countless number of lives you have touched over the past 40 years!