On the first day of school in 1992, two City High spanish teachers walked through the doors and taught their first day in a new classroom. Now, in less than four months they will both teach their last class at City High. Bonnie Hall and Susan Barrera aren’t taking any breaks, when the bell rings on the last day of school they are headed for Africa.
“We’re gonna go hang out with the animals! There will be lions inching up to our jeep!” Hall said.
Before this trip can commence, there is still teaching to be done in the last few months before summer. Mary Rethwisch 14’ , third year student of Señora Hall, is one of many who has been inspired by her way of teaching
“I’ve learned so much more than Spanish from her. She’s very free with her world view,” Rethwisch said.
Hall has been teaching at City since 1991, and has gained lots of respect from her students over the years.
“One of the things that people both love and hate about Señora hall is that she doesn’t accept excuses,” Rethwisch said. “You always know what she will and won’t accept because she just has standards.”
Señora Barrera has also been quite successful, for twenty two years both teachers have taken City’s fourth year Spanish students on a two week trip to Spain.
“The trip to Spain is definitely a favorite memory.” Barrera said.
Spain is a favorite memory for both teachers, and many students. It has become a tradition that the teachers hope will continue after their retirement.
“The last Spain trip I went on it rained really hard, every day, except one afternoon in Córdoba. We had beautiful weather and we visited a fortress. The sun was shining and the kids were so happy. We were around the reflecting pools and we just took pictures and pictures and pictures and had the most wonderful time.” Hall said.
Both teachers stress the importance of language and travel for having a well-rounded education. The Spain trip is designed for students to be able to travel to a place where they can see and speak the language of the natives.
“I’m going to miss having the connection with my students.” Barrera said.
This summer the Señoras have plans to go on an African Safari together, as well as spend more time with family and friends.
“I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life. It’s gonna be neat.” Barrera said.
But leaving is not without hard goodbyes. Señora Hall gives her best advice to next year’s teaching staff.
“Enjoy the heck out of the students in the classroom, because they are wonderful and that’s the best part of the whole job.” Hall said. “They are interested in Spanish, they’re smart, enthusiastic, they’re funny. It’s gonna be really weird to not have teenagers around for the first time in my entire adult life.”