After working at Blake for more than six years, Egan Tash is retiring at the end of this semester. Mrs. Tash is a peer educator, which means she assists other teachers in the English department. Chances are you’ve seen Mrs. Tash floating around A Hallway.
Mrs. Tash has done her fair share of work to get to the point she is at in her life. As a teenager, Mrs. Tash put herself through college by babysitting, working at McDonald’s and working at the registrar’s office at UMD. She moved to South Florida from Ohio and worked at a tech agency before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She worked at her children’s school, church and at a nursing home before landing herself a spot at Blake.
Teaching at Blake was largely a positive experience for Mrs. Tash. The only thing she didn’t love was managing challenging students. “There are just some plain challenges that come with working at a high school,” Mrs. Tash says. “I haven’t had to do this for nine months, but [I was getting] tired of giving up my lunch for fights.”
The relationships Mrs. Tash had with staff and students were what she enjoyed the most. She felt welcomed by the staff at Blake. She said that they were very open to her classroom contributions and inside jokes. “I’m like an asset, I guess.” Mrs. Tash says.
English teacher Omari Daniel is a colleague of Mrs. Tash. He says he is going to miss the unapologetic virtue Mrs. Tash has. “[She was] the person who was not afraid to say something was stupid out loud to make those in power rethink their directives,” he says. “She was the best at cutting through all the B.S. [sic] and helping kids was the centerpiece for her.”
Mrs. Tash adds helping some students was more difficult than others, but that she was able to get through and positively impact many students in the end. “Some kids start out like, ‘Ehh I don’t need you,’ but they come around.” She says.
Amaara Taylor, a sophomore at Blake, had Mrs. Tash as a homeroom teacher. “When Mrs. Tash told my homeroom [that] she was retiring, I felt a little sad but I was also happy because she really deserves a break after working for [so long].”
Mrs. Tash says she derives a great sense of accomplishment when a student makes progress and is able to grasp a challenging concept. She gets happy along with the students since she is able to do her part in helping kids understand classroom topics and bring their grades up.
“Mrs. Tash was always there to help when and if you ever needed it,” Taylor says. “She would always let us know, too. It was really appreciated and helped take a lot of stress off my shoulders knowing I wasn’t alone.”
Mrs. Tash is a kind soul whose presence will truly be missed in the Blake building.