An Open Letter to the English Department

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An Open Letter to the English Department

Rosary Academy's fabulous English department. Photo by Eddie Hernandez

Rosary Academy's fabulous English department. Photo by Eddie Hernandez

Rosary Academy's fabulous English department. Photo by Eddie Hernandez

Rosary Academy's fabulous English department. Photo by Eddie Hernandez

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Dear Mr. Stegink,

The whimsical Mr. Stegink. Photo by Mrs. Reinbold

We know you’re not actually a vegan; all the times you’ve joined our meat and dairy-based potlucks have proved this. You love food just as much as Royals do, and it allowed us to accept you into our community easily and eagerly.

We appreciate that you know all of our names, even the girls who aren’t your students, and that you make sure to greet us in the hallways as we walk past your classroom. It’s brightened our day when any of us felt a little blue, and it has made Rosary a better place.

Thank you for teaching us how to be good people. Last year, in response to a student saying the world is too sensitive, you asked, “Why can’t we just be nice to people?” This has stuck with the senior class as we’ve grown the last year. Thank you, Mr. Stegink, for your jokes, your kindness, and your incredible knowledge of books. The Senior Class has used words like “creative,” “caring,” and “witty,” to describe you. We’re definitely going to miss you!

Nicole Garcia ‘19 said: “Mr. Stegink never failed to make us laugh! His Justin Timberlake impression at Clash of the Classes was iconic. I’m going to miss him stealing all our food.”

 

Dear Ms. Barclay,

The legend herself. Photo by Mrs. Reinbold

The queen of Cheez-its, pugs, and Butterfingers. Not only are you a mentor to the senior class, but an outstanding, devoted teacher that the Academy is blessed to have.

The dedication you have to your students is evident, as you always made yourself readily available during every lunch or break, even offering to cut into your own personal time before or after school just to help us. Your commitment to us is what made us great writers, allowing us to use your feedback to learn from our mistakes and try again the next time. We are so grateful that you go above and beyond to ensure the academic success of your students.

You never sugar-coated things, which kept us all in touch with reality and pushed us to work harder and harder. Although we were incredibly stressed by every surprise multiple choice test or practice AP essay, your challenging curriculum greatly prepared us for the AP test and beyond #strivefora5.

Walking into class everyday, we looked forward to hearing your hilarious stories about literally anything in your life. Your ability to turn mundane moments into hilarious anecdotes is a true gift, only made possible with your wicked wit and sense of humor. We truly all wish we were as funny as you.

It’s terrifying that we will never have a teacher quite like you ever again. Thank you for your jokes, your sarcasm, and most importantly, your commitment to us.

Sophia Mura ’19 said, “Ms. Barclay is the best. She knows how to make her students laugh and have a fun time while also learning so much. I felt really prepared going into the AP test because of her class. Plus, she’s super understanding and willing to help students.”

 

The great lover of books, Ms. Young. Photo by Mrs. Reinbold.

Dear Ms. Young,

I think we can all say that walking into your classroom on the first day of senior year was, to say the least, daunting. The Return of Ms. Young, however, was possibly one of the greatest things that happened to Rosary this year.

Throughout the year, you’ve stressed the importance of fostering a better understanding of what it means to be a good person; it’s what you wanted us to leave your class with (if not the remembrance of the texts). Through the themes in the novels we read (or Shmoop-ed), like Frankenstein and what it means to be human or The Handmaid’s Tale and the power women possess, you have done just that. You’ve made us better people that are prepared to go out into the “real world” and dominate.

We’re thankful that you’ve always pushed us to achieve our goals, and that you’ve also understood when we needed to take a step back and breathe. You never failed to be available for countless distress-filled college essay meetings and reassure us that everything would fall into place. You may put up a hard front, but we know you care about the well-being of everyone at Rosary, and we all appreciate it. We’ll all miss our riveting class discussions about Hamlet’s “daddy issues,” all of your hilarious James stories, and the lessons we’ve learned from your various robberies. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us this year as our moderator and mentor. The Class of 2019 will miss you immensely.

Ava Cunningham ‘19 said: “I think I’m going to miss the fact that despite the amount of times she caught me walking to class late, she never failed to tell me to ’GO TO CLAAAASS!’ But seriously, she was always super encouraging to me. When I didn’t think I would be able to pass the AP test or do an assignment well, she would always reassure me.”

 

Dear Mr. Bevins,

Our Sophomore year savior. Photo by Mrs. Reinbold

As much as we like to joke about your existential crises, your freezing-igloo-of-a-classroom, and tendency to get emotional, we can honestly say that we enjoyed your class so much.

Your class taught us what it means to be an articulate writer and speaker. We learned how to thoughtfully analyze texts like A Doll’s House and Shanghai Girls, but we also learned how to get in touch with our emotions and recognize our mental health through novels like Werther. We will never forget the time you threw our essays and pop quizzes in the trash; it was an iconic moment in our high school careers. Nonetheless, your disappointment with us caused us to work harder, because we knew nothing in your class was going to be handed to us. Our fear of not wanting to let you down propelled us to achieve academic success and become better writers with every assignment. You knew what we were capable of, and pushed us to simply be the best we could be.

Not only did you help us academically, but also personally; you were our go-to person for all our boy problems or drama with friends. You are someone who understands their students, gets on a real level with them, and truly hears them out; you go above and beyond your job description to tend to our emotional and mental well-being. It is so comforting to know that there is at least one person on the campus who we can talk to and open up to. It’s clear how much you care for your students, both in and out of the classroom–this is something that is rare and hard to come across.

Maya Gonzalez ‘19 said, “I think Mr. Bevins is such a great teacher because he cares about each student and their well-being. He expects a lot out of each student because he knows what we are capable of. He’s very honest with the best intentions for his students.”

 

    Love,

                                                   The Class of 2019

 

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