It’s been a couple weeks since school officially let out for summer and I bid my students, fellow teachers and staff farewell. While I am not leaving Cordova, I have left my position as the high school English teacher. It was an emotional last day. There was so much I wanted to say, yet the giant lump in my throat kept me from speaking.
I began my career in 1983 with the intention of staying only a year in Cordova, then moving on to graduate school. Thirty-eight years later, hundreds of students (including my own son), many inspiring colleagues, several administrations and school boards plus an eventual advanced degree, I reflect on how quickly it all has gone by. Many of my students have become my colleagues. They have taught my son! I have had the opportunity to teach the children of my first students and in turn, watch those students graduate and become parents themselves. And for this past year, I have marveled at the resilience of our Cordova kids as they adapted to school online, socially distanced classrooms, separate cohorts and mask requirements. (Not exactly how I’d pictured the end of my tenure, but memorable nonetheless.) It’s been a great run filled with poignant moments, thoughtful discussions, fierce arguments, lots of papers, busy schedules, lively hallways, assemblies, plays, concerts, trips, homecomings, exciting first days and tearful graduations…
I am ever grateful to the community of Cordova, my family, district administration, colleagues, friends and most of all — my students for a rich, fulfilling career. It has been my privilege to have spent so many years sharing my love for language and to have done so in such a beautiful place. Your support and good wishes for retirement have made closing my classroom door bittersweet. Thank you, thank you.