Free-Spirit English Teacher Ends 25 Year Career to Pursue Acting

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Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd

A long career has sadly come to end. Lillian Bogovich, an English teacher at Milpitas High School in Milpitas, California for the last 25 years, retired this past spring. After a fulfilling career as a teacher, she says she will use her time during retirement to pursue her passion for theater and acting.

After the death of her mother at the young age of four, Bogovich moved from Michigan to Pennsylvania with her father. She says she loved reading, especially fiction and fantasy, which helped foster her love of acting as well. She admits to leading a dual life as a child, having to hide friendships with children who had different religious backgrounds. This ability to juggle a dual life fed her success later on as an actor and a teacher.

She says her decision to teach came without much thought at the time. She followed a high school friend to college at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and pursued a bachelor in English. “I followed her to college and we both majored in English and then she found me a job in Baltimore,” says Bogovich.

Bogovich later received a master’s in theater from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. while living in a commune and hitchhiking to auditions in theaters. She taught at an experimental high school in the Baltimore area, teaching English, theater and literature classes that students requested.

After her father passed away, Bogovich and her husband moved to the San Jose area where she started her 25 year career at Milpitas High School. She began her duties as a drama teacher and later added three English courses to her schedule.

Bogovich says she will miss teaching but after participating in a performance of “Harold and Maude” last year, she said she realized it was time to pursue her other love, acting full-time.