Burrus teaches a lesson about author Jorge Luis Borges to his seventh period class on May 25
Burrus teaches a lesson about author Jorge Luis Borges to his seventh period class on May 25
Hope Rasa (she/her)

Bon Voyage!: Burrus, Boulac and Locke set sail

Inglemoor is saying goodbye to three of our beloved teachers this June.

Sean Burrus

Since he started teaching here 42 years ago, English teacher Sean Burrus (he/him) said he’s been an “Inglemoor guy.”

“It’s the greatest school in the world. I love Inglemoor. Dude, destination high school. I got here and I was like, ‘no place better,’ and I sat down and here I still am.” 

Burrus describes himself as a teaching fanatic. He’s gone entire years at Inglemoor without missing a day. 

“We used to say 183 days promised, 183 days delivered.” 

The first time Burrus ever taught professionally was at Inglemoor, when he was a substitute teacher here in 1981. Burrus said he enjoyed subbing. 

“I was young and wild and crazy, and I tended to sub that way,” said Burrus.

After Burrus began working at Inglemoor full-time in 1985, he’s taught a variety of subjects: famously, English, but also math and French. In addition to teaching multiple subjects, Burrus has taught in every building and portable (except portable No. 5 and the new music building) on campus, including the old music building, and advised various clubs. Burrus once advised what he calls, ‘basically, the witchcraft club.’ Unfortunately, it was shut down due to parental complaints. 

“My principal called me and said, ‘Sean, are you training witches after school?’ — which is what the accusation was from a group of parents — and I was like, “Well, maybe,” and she was like, ‘Stop that, ah!’”

Burrus is known for his stories. They’ve helped him earn his reputation as the “fun” teacher. Some of Burrus’ stories are just for kicks, but he also uses them to engage students in lessons. 

“We’re doing a unit about Borges, and for every story that we read, he tells us about how it’s had a profound impact on his life,” said senior Trisha Agrawal

His stories are part of what makes Burrus a memorable teacher. Burrus recently bumped into a man who turned out to be a student from Burrus’ very first year at Inglemoor all grown up. 

“He’s like, ‘Oh! Mr. Burrus! I had you in 1985!’”

The student still remembered how many of Burrus’ his classes he took and that they were both writing classes. He told Burrus he still writes. 

Students remember and cherish Burrus because of the care he takes to treat them well. Burrus said that’s what teaching is all about. 

“That guy in the store remembered he had taken some writing classes from me, but he way overjoyed to see me because he remembered we had a good relationship,” said Burrus. “It’s about the students and how you treated them, because No. 1: that’s what they remember, and No. 2: that’s your most important job anyways.”

Burrus says he’s been a part of “a great big bunch of people” who are teaching fanatics like him, and have dedicated their lives to helping kids. He says he loves it, and he’s never wanted to do anything else. 

“It’s still like that, but at some point, I gotta go, and this is it.”

Renée Boulac

Boulac goes over the class agenda during her fourth period class on May 29. Hope Rasa (she/her)

American Sign Language teacher Renée Boulac (she/her) is going to miss teasing her students when she’s retired. Boulac and her students, especially the ones who take a keen interest in ASL, are now great friends. Because Boulac and her students are all so good at silent communication, they don’t need to say, or even sign, anything to make each other laugh. All Boulac needs to do is shoot one of her students a look and the class starts giggling. 

“She cracks me up,” said senior Emilyn Smith (she/her)

In addition, Boulac once had a student who never spoke aloud, only signed. That student is now a teacher for deaf children and a certified interpreter in Texas. 

Students who take Boulac’s ASL classes often emerge with a passion for the language. Smith, who started ASL in her freshman year, is going to Southern Maine University, which she chose specifically for its ASL interpreting program.

Students get a lot out of sticking with ASL. Around 20 years ago, one of Boulac’s ASL 300 students asked to go to the bathroom but didn’t return for a while. Boulac eventually spotted him outside the window of another classroom signing back and forth with his girlfriend inside. The student had signed a promposal to his girlfriend through the window while she was in class, and, without her teacher noticing, she had said yes and started to make plans with him. ASL students have all sorts of opportunities to utilize the skills they’ve learned in Boulac’s classes.

“Even outside of class, me and my friends will sign across the room, and I’ve met deaf and hard of hearing people at work, and I’ve been able to communicate with them,” said Smith.

Smith also said that she’s made a great deal of friends in Boulac’s class. Boulac said that she once had an ASL 100 student who had Usher’s Syndrome, which causes hearing and vision loss. When he was diagnosed, the rest of the class came together to support him. Typically, a few students drop ASL after their first semester or year, but most of this class stuck with it for the rest of high school because they had bonded so well over supporting their friend. 

For 24 years, Boulac’s classes at Inglemoor have given students the opportunity to learn an invaluable language and become part of a warm community. Students who sign up for Boulac’s ASL classes year after year gain useful experience and a strong sense of community.

Marissa Locke

Locke going over an assignment with her class during third period on June 1. Hope Rasa (she/her)

Being at Inglemoor for the past five years has given AP English teacher Marissa Locke (she/her) so many unforgettable and exciting experiences, whether it’s at a special event or just in her classroom, especially because she has always had a passion for English.

“I got my bachelor’s degree in English, and I really wanted to keep working specifically with what I learned and getting to talk about books and writing and reading every day,” said Locke. 

Teaching is Locke’s first job, and she has absolutely no regrets choosing it. She’s extremely extroverted and has always wanted a job where she could work with people. Additionally, she’s also gained a lot of confidence in herself from it. She said her first semester at Inglemoor was probably one of the craziest, most chaotic experiences of her life. Her classes were huge — the biggest one had 48 students.

“I didn’t really know what I was doing, and that contributes to why the first semester felt so crazy,” said Locke. “It’s because I was still learning, and the learning curve is really steep. When you’re new, there’s so much to learn, and you have to learn really fast.”

Locke then reminisced about some of her favorite memories and explained how much she loved chaperoning prom and watching everyone all dressed up and having fun. In addition, she also really enjoyed sending seniors off via the goodbye tunnel.

“It’s always really emotional getting to see all the progress, and everyone’s grown up so much. That’s really special,” said Locke.

During the online school year, Locke was ecstatic seeing how high everyone’s energy and spirit were when they had their graduation over zoom. 

“It rained that day, and everyone was in [their] cars,” said Locke. “It’s like so many things went wrong, but all of the staff at Inglemoor came together and made this really special graduation, and to see all the families and all the kids, and everyone was so happy.”

Locke’s days in Inglemoor are soon coming to an end, but she’s continuing her journey in California, where her husband is pursuing medical school.

“It’s really bittersweet. I’m excited for what’s new. I’m excited to live in California again. It’s where I’m from, so I’m going to be closer to family,” said Locke. “But I’m gonna miss the students. It sounds cliche, but there’s almost never a day that goes by where I don’t laugh or have fun at my job. I don’t think any other job has dress-up days and spirit days. So I’m just really gonna miss the energy and the positivity of Inglemoor students in the Inglemoor community.”

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About the Contributors
Hope Rasa (she/her), Web-Editor-in-Chief
Senior Hope Rasa is back for her third year on the Nordic News staff as Web-Editor-in-Chief. In her limited spare time, Hope enjoys reading, writing, knitting, needlepoint, hiking, and listening to music. While on Nordic this year, Hope hopes to improve her writing skills, learn more about journalism, and help make this website become the best it can be.
Iris Huang (she/her), Junior PR Manager
Sophomore Iris Huang can’t wait to start her second year in Nordic News as Junior PR Manager. She is excited to meet new people and improve her writing skills throughout the year! Iris swims for Inglemoor, plays flute in the school’s band, and participates in clubs like DECA and National Honor Society. Outside of school, she enjoys listening to music, sleeping, doing art, and hanging out with friends.

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