Retired Monessen teacher finds way to keep a lifestyle
MONESSEN – So many people who retire do just that – retire.
Not Ron Galilei.
The Monessen resident, who retired in June after 35 years as a teacher in the Monessen School District, has found more than enough ways to keep busy.
“I became a handyman,” Galilei said. “So far, I’ve installed a kitchen and remodeled several rooms É all for other people. Plus, I continue to have renovation projects in my own house.”
Galilei, 57, started his education career at Monessen in 1973 as a math teacher on the junior high level.
Over the years, he taught computer classes in high school, served as the district’s federal programs coordinator and also was Monessen’s athletic director for 18 months.
When he rode out his final year in the classroom during the 2007-08 school year, he was again teaching math, but on the high school level.
“I was eligible to retire after 35 years of teaching and I figured I’m still young and in good health and there are a lot of things I’d like to do,” Galilei said.
He also admitted that, after dealing with students for so many years, he was ready to move on with his life.
“As far as the students go, student attitudes have changed tremendously from the time I started,” he said. “I found myself having less patience with some of the students – not all of them, just a few of them.”
Getting out of the classroom for the first time in over three decades, Galilei and his wife, Val, were able to have some time to do other things.
“I have a daughter (Lea) who lives in California and we have been out there a few times,” he said.
Plus, he was able to fulfill another itch he wanted to scratch.
“I bought a 1932 Ford Vicky, which is a street rod,” he said.
He admitted to wanting to own a classic car and had fallen in love with the Vicky after seeing a couple at various car shows.
“I never thought I’d find one, but I did over Labor Day (2007) at a car show in Wheeling,” he said. “We’ve taken it to several shows and won some awards with it, but we really bought it to just enjoy it.”
A Penn State alum, Galilei also is an ardent follower of the Nittany Lions football program. He says he attends “one or two” games at Happy Valley each year.
His daughter is also a PSU grad and his son, Scott, is a senior at Penn State.
While Galilei is retired from the classroom, he remains active with the district in another way.
He has kept his job as the ‘Voice of the Greyhounds’ athletic program. Galilei has been working in the stadium press box and at courtside for basketball games for 28 years.
He started out operating the clock but gravitated to behind the microphone.
“I even ran the clock for one soccer game,” he said with a smile.
Another ‘job’ he picked up recently was as the clock operator for California University home football games at Adamson Stadium.
“I really enjoy that,” he said. “They are very professional at Cal U.”
Galilei also has served as clock operator for a handful of California U women’s basketball games.
“I guess I’m a fill-in for basketball,” he said with a smile.
Though his desire to teach had waned, Galilei claims he still enjoys being around Monessen’s athletic program.
How much longer will he do that?
“Maybe until Joe Paterno retires,” he said with a laugh.
“I still enjoy it a lot. I don’t have any time constraints on this job.”