June 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Epply’s Exit

by
Ms. Epply will be
Retiring from work now.
Who will replace her?
The news above is written in the form of a haiku.  I learned how to write these in Ms. Epply’s freshmen poetry class.  Next year’s freshmen, however, will be counting out syllables with someone new, because this has been Ms. Epply’s final year at GSA.  That room with “Character is Destiny” written on the door will be occupied by a new face in September, and Mr. Kaz (chair of the English department and known by some as “The Kaz-a-tron”) is already reviewing a list of applicants.  Ms. Epply’s replacement will be filling her spot as teacher of Senior English, and so will also be taking on the DEBATES.  The DEBATES are when you get a grade for arguing with your friends in the band room.  Ms. Epply started the tradition of Senior DEBATES, and now they are a graduation requirement.  The DEBATES are, debatably, one of the most important learning experiences a student can have, because they teach you how to talk good in front of people and stuff.
When Marie Epply was a kid, her dreams for the future did not lie in education.  “When I was in elementary school,” she told the Procrastinators, “I wanted to be a nun.”  Apparently she had to settle for the classroom instead of the convent however, and she soon dedicated her life to teaching English.  But it wasn’t always easy; early in her career, Ms. Epply earned money on the side by rust-proofing cars.
Having been at GSA since 1988, Ms. Epply has made quite a legacy for herself over the years.  Her famous DEBATES have no intention of going away anytime soon, and she also started several electives like Creative Writing and Public Speaking, which offer aspects of English that aren’t really taught in any of the core classes.  Few other teachers can claim to have changed so much at GSA.
According to Ms. Epply, the school faculty “used to be a lot wilder” in years past.  Back in the crazy days of the 90’s, the staff seemed to get up to all sorts of shenanigans, including “play[ing] tricks on Mr. Graceffa.”
Why is she retiring? “I’ve given George Stevens everything I have to give,” Ms. Epply said.  She wants to spend time with grandchildren, go hiking, and write poems (why else does anyone retire?).  Years of teaching high school kids poetry seems not to have killed her own poetic appreciation, and her favorite book is, of course, The Odyssey; the ultimate poem.  And, as she embarks on her new journey, Ms. Epply is, like Odysseus, “turning with the tide.”  Godspeed.
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