White teaches advanced placement English at Benet Academy in west suburban Lisle. But he could also teach history-- his own. White's been at Benet for 50 years.
I started out my career teaching chemistry, math, English and coaching three sports. And that was 50 years ago. And I didn't have sense enough to know that's too much for anybody to do. Because I was pretty naive. But every year I did it. It was more and more fun," said Thomas White.
White's association with Benet began in 1958 when it was known as St. Procopius High School. Once interested in chemical engineering, he became hooked as a teacher the moment he stepped into a classroom. He's taught 45,000 classes and 10,000 students.
"When I first walked into his class I was so nervous but now I come here every day and bother him. Because like he's just such a good teacher and such a nice person," said Tori Taylor, senior. "The last day of school, I left. And I was like Mr. White, I hope I get you next year. The best teacher I ever had. And he's one of those role models that you look up to," said Annie Gallagher, senior
Father Jude is president of Benet Academy.
"He's an amazing person. He's present for almost every event. He remembers every student he's ever taught," said Father Jude.
"What I do every day is what gets me up in the morning. I have never driven to school in the morning thinking i hate to go to my job. And how many people can say that? You know? It's like I love what I do. It's simple enough. And I want to keep doing it. Good lord willing, as long as I'm still alive," said White.
So how did he spend his only day off? White celebrated his wife's birthday.