Valle retires as other staff departs


Annabel Park

Sophomore Jada Nash and English and special education teacher Barbara Valle work on an English assignment May 8 using the school’s laptops.

Dorrie Gaeng, Staff writer

English and special education teacher Barbara Valle has decided it’s time to retire after 42 years of teaching, 25 here.
“Yes, I am retiring despite colleagues’ predictions that I would be hobbling out of here on my walker or being carried out on a gurney,” Valle said.
Valle was known for her light-hearted nature and the energy she brought to the classroom, English teacher Alicia Dreschler said.
English teacher Meekah Hopkins called Valle a firecracker.
“Her sense of humor is unparalleled,” Hopkins said. “Every class I co-taught with her presented a real range of challenges, but through it all, Barb persevered—we laughed constantly, no matter the day.”
Valle will use her retirement time to pursue interests she neglected as a teacher, such as travel, tennis, volunteer work and gardening, she said. She also wants to continue ushering at the Hippodrome and Center Stage theaters, Valle said.
Although she is excited about the possibilities retirement promises, Valle will miss her time as a teacher.
“I will miss teenage contact. Teenagers are a rare, delightful breed of curiosity, flippancy, drama and energy,” Valle said. “But I figured it was time to retire since I have taught longer than the current principal has been alive.”
Sophomore Jada Nash said she swaps stories with Valle over lunch, and sophomore Laura Kuta praised her for remaining calm among hallway chaos.
History teacher Pete Merani is also leaving, having been transferred to another school in the county. At press time, he was still uncertain of his placement.
Computer science teacher Amanda Lattimore and math teacher Lynley Smith are both taking postions outside the classroom. Lattimore will be a computer science resource teacher, helping other computer science teachers from her office in Towson. Smith will be a consulting teacher and mentor new teachers.
Both Smith and Lattimore attended high school here.
“Being a teacher for 12 years and a student here for three, I have spent almost half my life within these walls,” Lattimore said. “It is like leaving my family to some extent.”