A Q&A With Retiring Teachers: Ms. Vassilopoulos and Ms. Locke

Ms. Vassilopoulos:

  1. What was your favorite thing about teaching at LHS?  My favorite things about teaching at LHS are working collaboratively with my supportive coworkers, teaching lots of different subjects, and,  of course, working with interesting students.  
  1. What are your plans for the future?  I plan to take several biking vacations in the US and abroad, hike part of the Camino de Santiago in Spain,  travel to the 8 U.S. states I have not visited, spend the winters in a warm climate, and visit with my grandchildren, children, and friends as much as possible. 
  1. Do you have a favorite memory or anecdote from teaching at LHS?  I have so many fond and interesting memories of teaching at LHS.  Two of my favorite ones were the times I chaperoned trips to Canada and Italy. Another was the time the students in my English class were trying to teach me how to retrieve messages on a cell phone using the wall phone in the classroom. 
  1. Why did you decide to become a teacher?  I had the opportunity to work as a paraprofessional in a high school class for students who struggled in school.  I found I loved working with these students, and I seemed to connect well with them, so decided to pursue a degree to teach this population. 
  1. What will you miss leaving LHS and what won’t you miss?  I will not miss having to get up at 6 and be at my desk for work at 7:30! I will miss the daily interactions with my coworkers and the students tremendously!. I will miss chatting with the teachers on duty throughout the day, and the long walk from my classroom to the C wing. That allowed me a lot of steps! 
  1.  What’s your favorite food?  Lately, my favorite go-to is lemon-dill hummus avocado toast, but I love Vietnamese Shrimp Vermicelli.
  1. If you were an animal what animal would you be?  I would be an Asian or African elephant.  They live in matriarchal societies, are very empathetic and affectionate to each other, and can smell water 3 miles away (I love being in and around water). They are intelligent, social, and  playful, and are willing to display their emotions.

Ms. Locke:

  1. What was your favorite thing about working at LHS?  omg…. so much!  I have worked with such amazing students, and colleagues, and administration, and parents!  Generally keeping my students for all four years has helped in establishing genuine friendships with many of the students that have continued on after graduation;  they are a true blessing in my life!  The colleagues I have worked with here are the most dedicated group of professionals who continually work to keep learning themselves, improving and expanding their teaching skills.  And the administrators are second to none.  They always make decisions based on what is honestly best for the students and the faculty, looking at things from all sides and listening, truly listening, to the concerns of all involved.  It has been an amazing place to work! 
  1. What are your plans for the future? Hopefully, my husband and I are going to do some traveling.  We just bought a beautiful tow-behind camper (really more of a portable vacation home!!) that we have parked up on our land in Vermont right now and hope to use to travel around the States. My son lives in Arizona, so I’ll obviously head there, especially since with COVID I haven’t been able to see him in a long time…and I’m looking forward to having more time to spend with my husband and my daughter, who lives here.   I’d love to eventually hit all 50 states, all the National Parks, and I want to try to see the different types of whales in their natural habitats (although I’m sure none can compete with my beloved humpbacks at the Cape!). And I’m a birder, so I’m looking forward to seeing all sorts of new birds as I travel and having more time to go birding around here….and I hope to get better at birding by ear and learning more of the bird songs.   I’m also planning on doing lots of crafts, reading more books,  and visiting more with friends whom I haven’t had time to visit … providing the pandemic lets up!  
  1. Do you have a favorite memory or anecdote from teaching at LHS? Honestly, I have so many great memories from teaching at LHS…interactions with colleagues, and administrators, and of course, my students.  I don’t think I could come up with just one… or two… or three.  I have honestly loved almost all of it!  
  1. Why did you decide to become a teacher? I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.  I think it’s in my genes.  I am a third-generation teacher, although my mom tried to discourage me from becoming one.  I love the thrill of seeing that light-bulb moment when a kid gets something they’ve been struggling with! But also, and perhaps more, is that I love that it’s possible to have a positive impact on a student’s life…to help them believe in themselves, to motivate them to become the best they can be and help them recognize they can do whatever they want to do if they are willing to work hard enough for it. 
  1. What will you miss leaving LHS and what won’t you miss?  OMG!  I will miss 
  2. my students!  I will miss my colleagues and friends there!  And I will miss feeling like I make a difference.   Hopefully, I will find something to do in my “after” life that makes me feel useful and helpful and needed; I know I don’t want to be just sitting around watching Netflix!  What won’t I miss?….the paperwork, having to get up and pleasant early in the morning (I am NOT a morning person), the paperwork, having to take vacations when it’s the most expensive and crowded time to do so, and the paperwork!  I really don’t like the paperwork!!! 
  1. What’s your favorite food?   Oh that’s difficult…. I love to eat!  It depends on my mood.  In general, maybe ice cream… I really like ice cream!  But I also love mushroom sachetti from this little restaurant in Belfast, Maine….and maple-glazed scallops with blueberry sauce over polenta patties from a restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, Maine….. and pheasant pot pie made by Ma Huntley in Southbury….and Jersey pizza, preferably from Spiritos in Elizabeth, NJ….. and ah, well, you get the idea!  
  1. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?   I’d like to be either a humpback whale (because I love them) or some sort of bird so I could go soaring through the air (although I don’t love heights so I’m not sure if that’s the best choice for me!) 

I love to program, make videos, and work on The Jet Jotter. I took the journalism elective sophomore year and have loved it ever since. My favorite part is reporting as well as layout parties where we drink tea and eat pizza at my house. If you have any comments on the website, reach out, I made it :)

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