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The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Teachers retire to explore new kingdoms

Teachers+retire+to+explore+new+kingdoms

Cheers to Chemistry

After 40 years of teaching (24 of which were at Inglemoor) general and IB chemistry teacher Mark Emery (he/him) is retiring alongside his wife, a teacher in a different school district. The couple have already made big plans for their retirement.

“The first year that we’re retired, we’re going to pretend that we’re on vacation. We have big trips planned to the Grand Canyon, to the Netherlands and to Italy. We’ll also end up in Hawaii because my daughter and son-in-law live there,” Emery said. “We’re still young, we’re still healthy, and we still have things that we want to do.”

After Emery and his wife settle down, they plan to explore the possibility of teaching or volunteering in other schools in this area.

“We’d like to see if there’s a way that we can donate our expertise, donate our time, to help support students that may not have the same opportunities that everybody does here,” Emery said.

Emery said that Inglemoor is an outstanding school and that the expectation for student success is very high. 

“I remember when I first came here, I would often say to my students: you don’t realize how special this place is,” Emery said. “Former principal Vicki Sherwood actually held her staff to a very high standard. And then they in turn held their students to a high standard and what you got was a really great performance — a really outstanding education.”

One of the most important things that Emery has learned from teaching is that it’s the people, not the content or experiments, that really matter in the long run. 

“You can make really good friends, lifelong friends, in your colleagues at work,” Emery said. “There’s some clowns at work here that I really like and get along with.”

Originally, Emery had never imagined becoming a teacher but instead considered going into medicine. When some of his professors asked him to be a teaching assistant for a few biology and chemistry classes, he realized how much fun he had instructing others. 

“From that moment on, I was like, ‘Oh, I know what my path is,’ and abandoned the whole notion of being a doctor,” Emery said. “You have people that have to come to your class, and you get to tell them about the cool stuff that you love. You have to be there, I get to tell you — what could be better than that! I don’t have to go trolling to find people that I want to tell the fun things to. They have to come to my class. I mean, it’s a gift!”

Emery’s former student, junior Emmy Ha (she/her) said that his retirement is going to be especially sad for her. Ha and her friends often hang out with him in his classroom, and being able to talk to him outside of chem and the stress of class has always been really nice. Additionally, she enjoys how passionate and thorough Emery is when he teaches chem.

“I think he’s one of the best teachers for chem in general, and it’s kind of sad because he’s also been here for a long time,” Ha said. “I’m definitely gonna miss him a lot.”

 

Farewell to French

French teacher Joseph Degorgue (he/him) said that adapting to Inglemoor was complicated for him at first, since he was replacing a teacher who had a massive presence within the school’s community. However, in the intervening 10 years, Degorgue has since been able to achieve this connection to students. 

Degorgue said that he’s learned so much about the importance of leadership and kindness within a community, and that he has so much appreciation for his students because of this. He said that this is what sets Inglemoor students apart from kids he’s taught at other schools.

“The students I’ve experienced have been very supportive of each other and really kind, good people,” Degorgue said. “And so that’s been very, very pleasant.”

However, retiring is bittersweet for Degorgue. He enjoys teaching French and working with the staff, but he is also excited to travel, sail and experiment with hands-on hobbies after retirement.

“I have mixed feelings about retirement. I’m looking at it as a new adventure, I’m beginning a new phase in my life,” Degorgue said. “But I’m sort of melancholic about it a little bit too because I had really, really enjoyed teaching.”

Junior Anna Marroquin (she/her) said that she’s sad to see Degorgue leave, because of how kind and supportive he is to his students. She said that he strives to make his class relaxing for all students, and that she will miss the sense of family that his classroom had cultivated. 

“He is the sweetest teacher on campus. He is extremely kind and caring, and I’m super grateful I got to have him as my teacher,” said Marroquin.

Some of his favorite moments are from when students visited his classroom and played on the keyboard he keeps near the door. 

“I’ve had students sit down and play beautiful classical segments. It’s just really indescribable when you’re in the classroom and in between classes, someone sits and plays a perfect classical piece. It’s beautiful,” Degorgue said.

He said that he’d always had a calling to become a teacher, but never did anything to become one until late in his life. Instead he went to multiple other jobs before discovering that teaching would be the perfect fit for him. 

“I love it here. I love this place. I love my colleagues. I love the students. I love the culture here. I just think it’s the best place I’ve ever worked. Really, it really is.”

 

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About the Contributors
Iris Huang (she/her)
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.
Ava Hedin (she/her)
Junior Ava Hedin is starting her first year as a reporter for the 2023-24 Nordic News staff. She is excited to learn more about journalism and design, in addition to becoming a part of this new community. When she isn’t writing for Nordic, she can be found rowing for Inglemoor Crew, working with every art medium possible, spending her last dollars on vintage jewelry, or hanging out with her friends. 

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