Seniors won’t be the only ones leaving school once and for all


Photo by Isabela Casimiro, Leslie Najera-Rivas

Science teacher Hank Murphy will retire after teaching for 15 years. Special education teacher Catherine Thielberg hopes to work for the Obama Foundation after she retires from her career here.

By Leslie Najera-Rivas, Isabela Casimiro, News Editor, Perspectives Editor

As the year comes to an end and students prepare for the summer, teachers will be finishing school as well.

Science teacher Hank Murphy and special education teacher Catherine Thielberg will be retiring at the end of the year.

Since starting at the school, Murphy has been encouraged by the diversity from the school.

“Things that make (the school) special first is the diversity. just all the different people that you get to know in me to interact with. I went to a Catholic, all-boys high school, and practically everybody was the same. And so it was a very different experience,” Murphy said.

Although Murphy had been wanting to find a new challenge, changing from a doctor to a teacher was a difficult transition.

“Teaching science has allowed me to discuss anatomy and physiology every day which is what I did as a doctor. When I felt the need to operate, I could dissect something with my students,” Murphy said.

After 15 years as a teacher, Murphy will miss the school that gave him an opportunity to teach.

“What you need, no matter what you decide to do in life is an opportunity, you need a chance to do it. And this was the place that gave me that chance to do it,” Murphy said. “And I’d like to thank all the students that I’ve taught, and I was learning how they learned and I was seeing how their brains worked and I was interacting with them. And it’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve enjoyed it.”

After retiring, Murphy plans to travel, take a break and volunteer.

Thielberg has taught special education for 18 years at the high school.

Her area of expertise is teaching-learning strategies and working with the teachers in the classroom.

“The teachers can learn some strategies to work with kids in reading and writing disabilities in particular,” Thielberg said. “So I’ve worked in almost every department team, mentoring new teachers.”

Thielberg’s favorite aspect of working here are the students.

“I feel like the students that I’ve worked with have appreciated what teachers do to help them learn, and it’s like a big family,” Thielberg said.

Being a part of the foundation team for ROAR and establishing Snowball will be the legacy that Thielberg will be leaving behind. But she hopes students have learned more from her.

“I hope what students have learned from me is first of all the good work ethic,” Thielberg said. “And second of all, a little bit of my resiliency, that things can be a mess but you can be okay.”

As Thielberg retires, she wishes to travel and hopefully work for the Obama Foundation.

“Right now, I’d like to work for the Obama Foundation, either on their student leadership program or the Obama libraries,” Thielberg said. “I feel like traveling has really enriched my life a lot and I’ve really tried to plant that seed on all of my students that they need to travel, it makes your world so much richer.”

Thielberg’s last word for the students is to keep in mind that they have so much potential for the future.

“I would say to the students is that the next generation has enormous potential and I think that the rest of the world is going to be in great hands,” Thielberg said. “Every student I have interacted with was great and have something big to contribute to the world.”