The Sagamore

Teachers leave high school to pursue new opportunities

School+Within+a+School+%28SWS%29+teacher+Karen+Harris+stands+in+her+classroom.+One+of+the+things+she+plans+to+pursue+after+her+retirement+in+Feb.+2019+is+a+writing+project.
School Within a School (SWS) teacher Karen Harris stands in her classroom. One of the things she plans to pursue after her retirement in Feb. 2019 is a writing project.

School Within a School (SWS) teacher Karen Harris stands in her classroom. One of the things she plans to pursue after her retirement in Feb. 2019 is a writing project.

Amanda Kravitz

Amanda Kravitz

School Within a School (SWS) teacher Karen Harris stands in her classroom. One of the things she plans to pursue after her retirement in Feb. 2019 is a writing project.

Amanda Kravitz, Sports Editor

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Every morning, you come to school and pass the same teachers and peers in the hallways on your way to A-block. We start to take the people around us for granted, and we forget that without them, the community would be different. Say hello to your teachers because they aren’t here for forever.

There are over 200 staff members at the high school, and they all play a vital role in supporting the school and the students. Within the upcoming months, the high school community will be losing two important teachers: Karen Harris and Robert Grant. Although they both adore their jobs here, they have to leave for personal reasons.

Robert Grant, a 12th grade social studies teacher, has been working at the high school for 22 years. However, he will be saying goodbye at the end of the year. Grant said that he is not retiring; rather, he is resigning his position. He is looking for a teaching position in Essex County.

“My partner, Kate Bowditch, is now the new president of the Essex County Greenbelt. So, for this year, we are sort of doing a commute to hell,” Grant said. “But, we really want to live closer to her work. This is also a remarkable opportunity for her, so I am a following spouse.”

Along with Grant’s passion for family, he also teaches his class with a unique style. Senior Orla Erdman is currently a student in Grant’s class, and she enjoys his engaging style of teaching.

“Mr. Grant makes class a lot more interesting by relating the material to other stories. He also involved everyone in the class and is full of emotion when teaching,” Erdman said.

Karen Harris, a School Within a School (SWS) English teacher, will also be facing a tough goodbye as she retires from the high school on Feb. 2, 2019.

“I’ve reached the minimum age for retiring, and I want to be able to do a couple of other things that are education-related. I am not a good multi-tasker, and I can’t teach while doing other things at the same time,” Harris said. “I have a writing project that I need to do and want to do. I’d like to do some consulting and also take care of my own kids.”

Harris has been working at the high school for 16 years, but she still has big plans.

“I hope I get up and start writing, and I hope to make a structure for myself,” Harris said. “Just like normal, I’ll be driving my kids around everywhere and maybe even play music {guitar} again. I want to try to write more songs, which is something that I put on hold for the last year. Maybe the first thing that I will do is pick up a guitar and start playing.”

As the high school parts ways with these two teachers, it is impossible to forget how difficult it will be for both of them to leave.

“I think Brookline hits the sweet spot of public schools,” Grant said. “We have an engaged parent community, a diverse student population and a property tax base. This helps us afford to do many things that other schools cannot. I think teaching social studies, with such a diverse student body, is always really interesting.”

As for Harris, her love for her colleagues and students here will not make the goodbye easy.

“I love working here,” Harris said. “I love everything about it. I love my classes, and I really love SWS. I really love my colleagues, and I love the respect and freedom that teachers are given here. I also enjoy rising to that challenge every single day. Teaching English to high school students is just the best, it really is.”

Yuen Ting Chow
A Sagamore survey revealed that 12.5 percent of students believed that the school community would feel completely different when teachers left.

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Teachers leave high school to pursue new opportunities