With the end of this week comes the time to say goodbye to English teacher Elizabeth Jones, who is leaving her long-time teaching position September 27th to take what she calls her dream job.
Ms. Jones has spent 19 years working as a 10th grade English and AP Lang teacher as well as helping to build the Mythology program, and overall making a huge difference at Blake. Her unique teaching style, blending harsh life lessons with heartwarming advice, separates her from the average teacher.
From her first year in 2001, Ms. Jones has seen thousands of students pass through Blake. “Teaching here at Blake allowed me to see aspects of the world that I thought I understood, but students have taught me otherwise,” she says. “So I think what I’m most proud of is the journey I’ve been on and who Blake has made me.”
She is off to pursue the next phase of her career as the Uniserv Director for the state Union. Moving to Harford County to take the position, Ms. Jones recounts bonds she’ll leave behind. “The relationships I have here, especially in the English Department, are just really special, and I don’t know if I’ll ever find that again,” she states.
The emotional difficulty and pressure of such a move can only be expressed by Ms. Jones herself. “This has always been my love outside of my family,” she says. “It’s going to be different and sometimes not knowing what that is is kind of scary, but I think at some point it’ll be good.”
While Ms. Jones will continue to help the educational system, she understands exactly what she’ll be missing. “Kids are very forgiving, they’re very honest, and I don’t know that I’m going to get that in the adult world.”
Like many, English teacher Omari Daniel has experienced the lasting impact and changes Ms. Jones has left on the school. “You can’t replace the irreplaceable,” he says. “She is truly a woman of care and compassion, who as the mythological creature she is, gave birth to the Mythology class.”
The departure of such a beloved teacher, friend, and mentor leaves an even bigger impact on those in the English department despite the important role she will play moving forward. Dr. Daniel adds, “While it is devastatingly sad that she is leaving our school, her fight for teachers is more important for the world and thus we must celebrate.”
Similarly, English Department Head Michael Kelley describes both the importance of her upcoming position and her qualification for it. “She has tons of experience with this,” he says. “She’s a wonderful representative and leader within union initiatives and helping teachers know what their rights are and what should and should not be expected of them.”
Mr. Kelley speaks on the behalf of Blake when he says, “I’ll miss her, and I’m very freaked out trying to find someone. No one can replace her [except for] someone who will do the classes justice and help students.”
In words of farewell, Ms. Jones leaves Blake saying,
“My husband’s grandmother used to say that if you’re sad saying goodbye, that’s a good thing because it means you had a good time. So, I’ll definitely be very sad to say goodbye, but that’s a good thing because I’ve had a really good time.”
Thank you Ms. Jones
-The Blake Beat