The Oracle

Saying goodbye to beloved teachers: Retirements at WS

Geosystems teacher Cathy Simmons preparing for a celebration. Simmons and a few other long-time WS teachers are retiring from FCPS this June and moving on to new chapters of their lives.

Courtesy of Cathy Simmons

Geosystems teacher Cathy Simmons preparing for a celebration. Simmons and a few other long-time WS teachers are retiring from FCPS this June and moving on to new chapters of their lives.

Jamie Bishop, Scoop Editor

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Throughout the years, WS is home to many teachers who dedicate their time to prepare students for their futures. After their years of teaching, math teacher Terri Stirk, WAT teacher Barbara Martin, Geosystems teacher Cathy Simmons, and ESOL teacher Kathleen Meriwether are some of the teachers who are retiring and moving on from WS.
After her retirement, Stirk hopes to take the month of September off after her summer job as vice president of her pool board and manager of her swimming pool. After her month off, she hopes to teach part time. Through the years, Stirk has taught almost every subject in mathematics and has learned new material and developed new courses. After teaching for almost 33 years, she has learned from her experiences.
“I think my biggest take away is that we never stop learning,” said Stirk. “Each year I learn new things about mathematics and teaching.”
After 16 years of teaching ESOL and English at WS, Meriwether is planning to retire from her job and move to Leland, North Carolina to relax, play golf, catch up on her reading, and spend time with her family and friends. Meriwether has some fond memories of her time teaching, and is glad she could contribute to the lives of her students over the years.
“Many [of her students] were the first in their family to graduate from high school in the United States,” said Meriwether. “To know I contributed in a small way to their success and future is an indescribable feeling.”
Although Martin is a WAT teacher, she has also taught English special ed at WS in the past. Martin is also a big part of the Interact Club that is run by students at WS. She has helped bring the club to life and has supported students as well. Being a club sponsor, Martin has impacted many people. Through the club, the students will miss her and have benefitted from learning from Martin.
“I will definitely miss Ms. Martin’s sweetness.” said Interact club member Paula Riddle. “Her presence brightens the room and makes everyone feel welcomed.”
Geosystems teacher Simmons also plans to retire from WS. Through her years of teaching in the science department, Simmons was able to influence her students and keep them motivated while taking her class.
“The class was difficult for me, because I was never really interested in rocks, but since it was difficult for me I wanted to achieve more,” said junior Sofia Molinari.

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