Stranger times an even stranger year

Stranger times an even stranger year

By Araceli Galarza Posted June 10, 2021

It’s no shocker when a beloved staff member retires. They, too, eventually outgrow the halls of Lowry. This year the only difference is the amount of those who are retiring. With the retirees leaving the halls, it leaves a lot of gaps to be filled. Many beloved teachers will be picking up different tasks around the schools.

Principal Ray Parks explained that this would be the most immense amount of teachers retiring. He also explained what the hiring process for the empty slots will be like.

“This is the biggest retirement number that I’ve ever had in my career as far as teachers are retiring and moving on,” said Parks. There’s a process, so when you have a spot available, you have to open it up in the school for forty-eight hours. It’s different at the high school level because they have to be licensed to teach that, so you can just say that I’m a math guy and want to teach you to know PE or something. You have to be licensed. After that [two-day grace period] and I asked you to open in the district for five days, and then after that, it’s open to everyone else.”

Mrs. Miranda Santos. /Courtesy • Winnada
Mrs. Miranda Santos. /Courtesy • Winnada

With all the teachers shuffling around and the search for new faces, the schedule is also up in the air. The new schedule adapted where Thursdays become an early release instead of a late start is likely to follow the trend to next year.

Along with schedule changes, many teachers will be switching their schedules around as well. Mrs. Miranda Santos will now be in charge of the library. She is excited about the change of pace while still being able to interact with students.
“I’m very excited to take on the librarian position in the upcoming years,” said Santos. “I’m looking forward to taking on the task of a new challenge, where I am still able to influence and interact with students. I look forward to continuing to share my love of literature with past, current, and future students of Lowry High School.”

With this new adventure comes many challenges, one that Santos foresees will be missing her students. She also is nervous about the loads of information that will be in her hands.

“I have taught English for the last 13 years, and I love being in the classroom with my students, so this will be a big change for me and what I have done and accomplished in those many years,” said Santos. “I feel that I will have some big shoes to fill with the departure of Mrs. [Pam] Bidart. The library is so multi-faceted, and I feel it will be difficult to ensure that every aspect and resource is used to its full potential, but I am certainly excited to embark on this new endeavor.”

Mr. Greg Scott. /Courtesy • Winnada
Mr. Greg Scott. /Courtesy • Winnada

Along with Santos, Mr. Gregory Scott will also be taking over new classes. He will be taking over his wife’s, Mrs. Lisa Scott, computer classes and FBLA.

“I am excited for my amazing wife to get to retire and enjoy life outside of school,” said Scott. “I will move into her room and try to not screw it up. The classes will largely remain the same.”

Along with these classroom changes, Mr. Ron Espinola will be taking over the yearbook. He plans on combining The Brand and Yearbook.

“Mrs. Scott has set a high standard for the Yearbook so expectations will be high so I hope I can just continue with the program she has established,” said Espinola. “I plan to rely a lot on the returning students and editors to make for a smooth transition.”

Mrs. Kelly Bales will be taking over Drama and Stagecraft. Rather than give up all of her English classes, she will lose two to embark on this exciting journey.

“I love teaching English; it’s one of the aspects of my life about which I am most passionate,” said Bales. “I will still be teaching four classes of English, so I’m not totally switching departments, but it was a difficult decision giving up two English classes.”

Mr. Jesse Zamudio will also be heading over to a new department. Rather than teach biology, he will be teaching Spanish classes. He is excited to switch into a new apartment but will miss his classes and his students.

Mr. Jesse Zamudio. /Courtesy • Winnada
Mr. Jesse Zamudio. /Courtesy • Winnada

“Yes, I have started collaborating with Mr. [Clay] Sagers and Mrs. [Tanya] Grady, and feel that it’s going to be a fun and exciting change,” said Zamudio. “The most difficult thing will be leaving the science department. I have really enjoyed teaching Biology and watching students progress through course topics. I will miss my students, but hope to see them in Spanish soon.”

Along with all the weird changes and teachers moving, Lowry High School is also saying goodbye to many teachers including Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Grady, Mrs. Michele Doyle, Mrs. Bidart, Shelby Ruff, and Mr. Gerardo Zuniga.

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