Institute for Leaning in Retirement: Meet the instructor

Joan Elder

Joan Elder

Ken Marich

The ILR is proud to have Joan Elder as a faculty member. Joan was born in Liberty, New York, in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. Joan attended Michigan State University and completed her B.S. degree in Education at SUNY New Paltz in 1962. After vowing to never shovel snow again, she moved to Northridge, California, where she taught K-8 grade in the Los Angeles Unified School system for 30 years. While in Northridge, she earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration at California State University in 1983. During her teaching career, she received many awards which included the “Distinguished Mentor Teacher” award.

Joan moved to SaddleBrooke in 1996. As a second career, she was employed as an Educational Consultant for Create-A-Vision and traveled all over the U.S. leading math workshops for teachers. After her second retirement job, she met Joel Waldstreicher, the founder of the ILR, who recognized her teaching ability and gave her a book on the “First Ladies” and convinced her to develop an ILR course on that subject. She did, and her ILR course was a big success. Enjoying the topic, she then created a course on “The White House and Beyond” that she taught in SaddleBrooke, Sun City Vistoso and in the Summer Citizen Program at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Joan is now developing a new class entitled “Almost President” that she will teach in the ILR Winter/Spring 2018 term.

On a personal note, Joan loves visiting her two sons who live in Honolulu and San Diego. And, of course, spending time with her grandchildren is a special treat. While Joan has traveled extensively, she still has the travel bug and looks forward to more travel in the U.S. and abroad that includes a river cruise in Europe and a trip to South Africa. The ILR welcomes Joan Elder’s wit, educational talents and her unique knowledge of the White House lifestyles. We all look forward to more of her insight into the intrigue surrounding the White House and related politics. For more information about the ILR, go to