The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Elizabeth Ramseyer Leaves Lasting Impact at Niles West

Science teacher Elizabeth Ramseyer

Although Elizabeth Ramseyer is retiring after 32 years at Niles West, she sure has played a huge role in the school community and has created things that many future generations of students will continue to benefit from.

Ramseyer’s passion for astronomy led her to establish an astronomy class during her time at West. She has been teaching this class ever since, and it has become very popular among seniors. Additionally, she created a conceptual physics class, primarily taught to juniors.

“Liz Ramseyer’s 32 years of service to Niles West has helped thousands of students, our science department and our school and local community,” science teacher Anthony Comstock said. “She has been a brilliant teacher, mentor, coach and friend to all who have been blessed to know her. Our department and school are better places because of Liz’s service.”

Ramseyer’s involvement extended beyond the classroom. She founded the Astronomy Club and served as the head coach of the Science Olympiad team for over two decades. One of her most cherished moments was witnessing her team achieve a national title, highlighting her commitment to Niles West.

“One [memory] was down at the University of Chicago with the Science Olympiad in 1999 we became the top 10 in the world at nationals,” Ramseyer said. 

Besides leading the Science Olympiad team to numerous victories over the years, Ramseyer also dedicated a lot of time to astronomy-related activities. She created and ran the astronomy conservatory, which has aimed to provide students with an immersive and hands-on learning experience, improving their understanding of planets and space in a unique and engaging way.

Years ago, a dear colleague introduced me to the concept of a Golden Unicorn, describing it as “someone that fits the organization and role so perfectly that it seems too magical.”  Ms. Ramseyer embodies this definition perfectly! In our school district, there is no one who knows more about Astronomy and how to navigate through the universe like Ms. Ramseyer. She has imparted her passion for the cosmos with countless students and the community. On starry nights, I’ve had the privilege of joining her Astronomy students in the Niles West Observatory to view planets such as Saturn and Venus. Neither cold nights nor hot days, while observing solar flares, stopped Ms. Ramseyer from showcasing the wonder of the universe,” science director Ami LeFevre said. 

Ramseyer treasures many memories from her time teaching classes and coaching the Science Olympiad team at Niles West. However, one of her all-time favorites is the moment her husband, a former teacher at Niles West, asked her out. She vividly recalls the exact hallway where it happened, and it holds such special value for her. Niles West holds many enjoyable memories shared with colleagues, a significant aspect she’ll miss upon retiring. However, she’ll also miss the astronomy program, her primary focus at West, where she contributed to creating an outstanding class and coursework.

“I’m really gonna miss being able to do astronomy on a regular basis, that was my major in college and I need to find a way to still continue to do that. I plan on going to a workshop right after I retire and there’s a couple of things I’m going to try to stay involved in,” Ramseyer said. 

Ramseyer’s involvement in all parts of school life ensures her contributions will be remembered for years to come. She’s left a lasting mark that will have a meaningful impact on many future generations at Niles West.

We are profoundly grateful for Elizabeth’s efforts in inspiring students to pursue careers in astrophysics, organizing Friday night star parties for the community, and most significantly, for her instrumental role in securing the Niles West Observatory on our campus. I hope that future generations will continue to benefit from Ms. Ramseyer’s impact on our Astronomy and physics programs.  We treasure her wisdom and leadership,” LeFevre said.

While Ramseyer will truly miss the school community and the memories she’s made here, she’s excited to spend much of her free time traveling.

“My husband was a softball coach for 15 years and he coached football and then I was coaching Science Olympiad and it was really hard to get away so we want to do some travel,” Ramseyer said. 

Niles West congratulates Ramseyer on her retirement and wishes her the best of luck with all of her future endeavors!

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