Saying Goodbye: Dawn Mabry


Credits- ASL Interperter Dawn Mabry and Student Jordyn Pierce

Fiona Botsford, Reporter

This year we are sadly saying goodbye to many beloved teachers, and they all deserve to be recognized for all achievements, hard work and most of all, patience. Today we are saying our goodbyes to the one and only, Dawn Mabry. Dawn Mabry is one of Wheat Ridge’s valuable deaf-and-hard-of-hearing interpreters who has been working through all the tough times and even the great. After working in this school district for 15 years, two of those being here at Wheat Ridge, she is looking forward to finally retiring. So here is a little goodbye send off to Mabry, because everyone deserves their achievements to be appreciated. 

Mabry had always been interested in sign language but didn’t start working for the degree till her daughter was in first grade. This degree opened up a whole new career for her, and she definitely doesn’t regret a thing. 

When she first started working in Jeffco  district, she worked at Wheat Ridge High School for a year, then was transferred to Everitt Middle School where she worked for 13 years. This year, her final year, she was moved back up to Wheat Ridge where she was able to connect again with her old friends from her first year in 2008. 

When I asked Mabry where she liked working the most, she of course said Wheat Ridge. She responded with, “The kids being more mature helps a lot but I was there [Everitt] for 13 years so I couldn’t have disliked it that much. If I could have stayed here the whole time, that would have been wonderful.” It’s true, Wheat Ridge students are certainly better than middle schoolers, but Mabry seemed to enjoy working in both schools. She added on by saying, “Two years doesn’t sound very long but it feels like a long time.” Her time at Wheat Ridge was quite impactful, especially the friends she made. 

As I can gather from this interview, one thing that made Wheat Ridge so great was the great staff and friends Mabry was happy to talk about. Mabry said, “I have made some really good friends… some of the teachers that were here in 2008 are still here so seeing them again has been fun and even the new people that weren’t here in 2008 have been wonderful.” Mabry continued, “I will definitely miss the people here..I like everybody, I am not escaping.” It is a hard decision to retire after working in environments you enjoy so much, but like Mabry said, it was her time to retire despite all the good memories she has had. 

Like good memories, there will always be bad ones. For Mabry, the worst memory was with no hesitation, Covid. Mabry told me, “It was awful, it didn’t work and it was so hard…” She then went on to mention how students just didn’t try in school and would get away with not showing up. This of course was the same for many other teachers and interpreters who also had to deal with the tough effects covid had on schooling. So it is no surprise this was the first negative memory that came to mind. 

With years of working with teenagers Mabry has learned a lot. Patience being one of them but most of all she learned to see the good in people. She said, “There are always good people. There’s good in every kid, sometimes it’s hard to see but it is there, somewhere.” She also offered valuable advice as a goodbye senior quote by saying, “Just try to find the good and treat others how you want to be treated, the golden rule.” It is very important to remember the way your actions affect others and I think Mabry beautifully connected it to what life is like in a school. No matter how hard things get, whether it be Covid or silly drama you should always see the good in people. Mabry has had to deal with a variety of students so I think we can all trust her when she says this!

Before she departs from Wheat Ridge, I had to ask, what will Mabry do with all this new free time? She answered with, “Probably just, do a lot of outside stuff and then if I want to come back and sub, that’s kind of on the maybe list…” You would think after working since she was 14, Mabry would feel elated to finally have a break but she still feels odd about retiring. Mabry told me, “ It’s very weird ‘cause I have worked since I was 14 years old so now I am 60 and it’s just, ‘okay, I’m going to have all this free time.’ It’s going to be easy this summer because I’m used to having summers off, but August is going to be weird when everyone else is going back to school and I’m still golfing or going for a walk at 10 o’clock in the morning.” Though it may feel weird to leave, Mabry definitely deserves to get a break and have her fun however she wants to spend her time. 

In her final remarks she made sure to mention her thanks to the staff of Wheat Ridge High School and Everitt Middle School. Mabry emphasized her gratitude by saying, “I would like to just say thank you to the staff because they have been wonderful. The staff, admin, everyone.”