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The Haystack

Teachers Say Heavyhearted Goodbyes

Whitten working with her students.
by Blanca Praxedis

Whitten working with her students. by Blanca Praxedis

Whitten working with her students. by Blanca Praxedis

Blanca Praxedis, Staff Writer

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Wheat Ridge has been showered with news this year, 2016-2017.

Three principals and three teachers have decided to leave the premises and continue their journey doing something that they like to do, other than teaching at a high school.

You might have heard rumors that several teachers have chosen to leave the farm, sadly. Well those rumors are true, and the teachers who will be going to other schools are Pan Whitten, a math teacher, Andy Schultz, a science teacher, and a teacher who is remaining anonymous, for the time being.

Whitten is going to the University of Colorado at Denver and becoming a professor. She has been at Wheat Ridge since 2001, and she’s taught math ever since. She says she’s enjoyed working with our diverse population.

Whitten has been teaching a course at UCD in the evenings and has been offered the opportunity of being a full time professor teaching mathematics. Since she loves working with their diverse population too, she decided to take advantage of this opportunity.

Although she’s very happy with her decision, there will be things she will never forget about Wheat Ridge. Throughout her years here, Whitten has built great relationships with students and staff members. She has had “so many fond memories” over the years.

She will never forget her entertaining 7th hour pre-calculus class, her “heart of gold 1st and 6th hour”, her “hard working calculus class,” and her “amusing 3rd hour” class. She has had the opportunity to teach students more than one year, and anyone who was fortunate enough to have her class now has “a place in her heart.”

Schultz teaching a class. by Blanca Praxedis

Although she was very pleased teaching at WRHS Whitten feels lucky to have the “advantage of turning the page to a new chapter in my life.” She will build new memories with new students and although she will now be a Lynx, the UCD mascot, she will, with “Great pride, always be a Farmer.” She hopes that she will continue to make memories with some of her Farmer students.

Schultz, a chemistry and physics teacher, has been imparting wisdom here at Wheat Ridge for eight years. He will be leaving us and going to Lakewood High School to teach other subjects. His wife, being an employee at Lakewood, is part of the reason he has made the decision of departing from Wheat Ridge, but there are also “many factors that play into that.”

The decision he had to make to leave was hard as it is, but the hardest thing for him yet is going to be, “walking away from sophomores and juniors that took chemistry and having a good chance to have them again the next year.”

He will also miss the school staff. Schultz says he has “so much respect for the people in the department and its such a great group that it’s incredibly hard to leave, just the good people and caring teachers.”

Although his departure was not sudden, there are many things that he really liked about Wheat Ridge. He feels like, “It’s a great community, deep roots… very caring group of teachers and had wonderful experiences with the students.”

“For the longest time I thought I was going to retire here at Wheat Ridge and I thought I’d be here forever…” were some of Schultz’s words as he thought about one of the hardest decisions of his life.
Although leaving is “not easy” he feels like it’s the it’s “right thing for a lot of different reasons.” He believes that “changes are part of life.” He also remembers his dad always saying “forever is until tomorrow.”

Schultz has learned to “roll with it” and he “feels pretty confident at the right decision.”
The farm will miss Whitten and Schultz, as well as others who are leaving us at the end of this year. The Haystack wishes all of them well.

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The student news site of Wheat Ridge High School
Teachers Say Heavyhearted Goodbyes