Celebration Lifelong has been a ‘go-to’ resource in Celebration for many years.  It is one of the “hidden treasures” in our community, resulting from the vision and hard work of its volunteer board, its volunteer instructors, and a community partnership between the Celebration Foundation and the Celebration Residential Owners Association (CROA). Celebration Lifelong’s courses, lectures, and clubs offer knowledge, culture, social interaction, enrichment, and fun for all. This second of several articles highlights views of some of the instructors.


Instructors were asked what surprised them most with delivering the course. This provided a wealth of responses. Consider Tom Williams’ and Iris Palma’s observation about “…the willingness of members to learn a subject that is usually not within their comfort zone”; similar was Donna Mogilski’s observation that the class “…took a leap of faith” with doing an 11-minute mantra as a class. Barbara Ludemann said “there were more people interested in genealogy than I thought.”


Several instructors cited how attentive, interested, and engaged the class members were.  Bob Pearson noted “How thoroughly enjoyable it is to teach such smart and caring people like those who enroll in Lifelong courses.”  Audrey Byllott’s surprise was “the encouragement I get from the students to do more classes!”  And Jeannie Elliott’s surprise was “The students!  Never have I had such a dynamic bright audience.  I had to reach for a higher level of instruction to keep up!!”


Instructors were also asked about their most memorable experience with teaching these courses.  Here is a sampling of these.

  • It is always memorable when I see the continued improvement of those who are learning to draw or paint. – Meryl Rachlin
  • We were the first to use an online meeting space to live stream our presentations for a course and lecture. – Tom Williams and Iris Palma
  • I look forward to each opportunity to teach, to see old friends again, to make new friends, and to hear feedback to my teaching from several perspectives.  Such a great group! – Rev. Susan Bubbers
  • I wanted to try an experiment, since there is lots of research to prove that yoga lowers blood pressure. My friend “Nurse Sally” took everyone’s blood pressure on a voluntary basis; then we practiced different yoga techniques in class, and took the blood pressure again. All except one dropped by as much as 20 points. Everyone was surprised, especially Nurse Sally.  I wasn’t surprised, but I sure was glad they dropped!  – Donna Mogilski
  • One time I walked in as John Young, in an astronaut’s costume (homemade).  When the oxygen hose disconnected from the helmet, I pretended to be dying from lack of oxygen and the class roared. I love making people laugh (laughter is the best medicine)! – Audrey Byllott
  • It is the continued fun I have in preparing for the talks and then seeing the joy on the faces of the Lifelong Learners. – Tim Johnson
  • Trying to remember what I was going to say next. – Pete Opotowsky
  • I’m connecting with colleagues and friends, people with whom I can share insights, fellow travelers who can help me expand my own horizons, people who I feel are on the same wavelength as me. I knew I enjoyed teaching. I didn’t realize teaching in our program would end up being the finest teaching experience of my life! – Janet Belsky


These are great learning opportunities for the “students,” and provide “lifelong learning” for the instructors as well.  Learn more about this program, and all it offers, by visiting www.CelebrationLifelong.org.