Retiring Staff 2019

Retiring Staff 2019

Melody Yang, Staff Writer

Many of our AHS staff will sadly be leaving us this year, including Ms. Alisha Dagis, Mr. Tom Forbes, Ms. Toni Fox, Mr. Lloyd Fujiwara, Ms. Corinne Ishikawa, Mr. James Kirkpatrick, Ms. Lorie Purdy, and Ms. Kim Sobieck. All of these people have given us wonderful experiences at AHS and have contributed much to the school district.

Ms. Dagis belonged to the Science Department and will regrettably be leaving us. She has been the club advisor for many clubs in past years, and has done so much for the district. At her somewhere around two decades spent at AHS, Ms. Dagis taught AP Biology and Chemistry. Ms. Young, a fellow Chemistry teacher described Ms. Dagis’ animal loving nature “especially towards gorillas, she even put questions on her tests about gorillas!” Ms. Young also personally commented on her admiration for Ms. Dagis’ “fancy sense of style.”

Mr. Forbes, an exceptional music teacher at AHS, is also retiring this year. He conveyed, “My time at Arcadia High School has been extraordinary, starting way back in 1962 when I started kindergarten at Hugo Reaid Primary, then Foothills Jr. High School (pre-middle school days) followed in 1972 as I entered AHS as a sophomore and graduating in 1975.” He noted that “retirement is a bittersweet opportunity,” bitter because he “will miss [his] students and the finest staff anywhere,” and “sweet to begin a new chapter of life in retirement.”

Ms. Fox of the Counseling Department will leave us as well this year. She was a recipient of the 2018-19 Profiles in Excellence Program which recognized outstanding employees in the district. She expressed, “I think I’ve been really lucky to work at Arcadia High School for 19 years. When I first started I definitely didn’t know school acronyms…it was like learning a foreign language. I have loved being part of the Arcadia High School family.” She also revealed, “I have mixed feelings about retiring. I’m excited to travel and try new things. But I will definitely miss the people. I love working in the counseling department because they aren’t just my co-workers but my friends.” Thank you Ms. Fox for everything you have done for us!

Mr. Fujiwara has been a part of the Visual Arts Department and teaches photography. He said, “I enjoyed my time at AHS working with great kids. Through my career, I was able to gain an understanding of our youth today and see what our future holds for us.”

Ms. Ishikawa, an Instructional Aide, will begin a new chapter of her life after this year. Mrs. Tedei describes her as being “wonderful and so helpful towards students” because she always “goes out of her way to make sure students understand what they’re doing.” Ms. Tedei also added that “Ms. I was also immensely helpful towards [her] as well.”

Mr. Kirkpatrick, a Special Ed teacher, will retire as well. He has “totally enjoyed the fourteen years [he has] been with AHS” and also expressed, “The dedication of my colleagues to the betterment of their students is by far the best working experience I have ever had the opportunity to work with during my 18 years of experience.” He believes that “retirement is a mixed blessing” because he must retire due to disability reasons. Thank you for being with us at AHS, and we hope that you get better!

Ms. Purdy is a District Nurse based at AHS who has put in hard work and dedication to maintaining the health of us high school students. She expressed, “My career at AHS has been rewarding but also challenging. As a Credentialed School Nurse, the focus is on prevention, which includes keeping students healthy so they can learn best and working with students with chronic health conditions and/or special needs so they can attend school.” She also revealed, “Health is an important component in the educational process and it has been very rewarding to be a part of the team.” From her time at AHS, Ms. Purdy has learned to be “a good listener and to find joy in the moment.”

Ms. Sobieck was part of the Math Department and taught mathematics and geometry. She received a mini grant from Arcadia Rotary in 2013 for educational purposes for her innovative classroom project—Teaching Geometry with the Geometer’s Sketchpad. During her time at AHS, she has learned many valuable lessons that may help students during their high school career. She stated, “I come away with four ‘lessons’ after this career.” She revealed the first one as, “As much as possible, stay true to yourself. If you make a mistake or do not know the answer to a question, own up to that fact. Students will know if you are trying to fake it with them. My hope is they will respect you more for being honest.” Also entailingadding that after a student has struggled for some time, and the light bulb finally shines bright, you can see it in the student’s face. It makes the job worth every minute. And if that student can turn around and help another, that is just icing on the cake!”

These members of the AHS staff have been invaluable to the school and district, with all the lessons and experiences they have shared with us AHS students. Thank you for all you’ve done for us!

Graphic courtesy of 123RF.COM