Many people believe that retirement is the end of a chapter. However, after talking with some outgoing teachers at Christian Brothers High School, I came to realize it is a start to a new beginning. The Christian Brothers community and students cherish their teachers, and the impact they make on them is incredible. This year […]
Many people believe that retirement is the end of a chapter. However, after talking with some outgoing teachers at Christian Brothers High School, I came to realize it is a start to a new beginning. The Christian Brothers community and students cherish their teachers, and the impact they make on them is incredible. This year we say our farewells to three individuals who will be remembered and who leave behind a CB legacy. Ms. Kelly Safford, Mrs. Adriana Mundo, and Mr. Danny Delgado ‘79 are saying goodbye to teaching at Christian Brothers High School, but they told me how important this community is to them and always will be.
“There are a lot of mixed emotions. I am excited about possibilities. I am also scared about not knowing the future,” says Mr. Delgado. In so many words this is what all three teachers said about retiring. They feel ready, but are also unsure of what will come next and how they will spend their time.
Mr. Delgado has been teaching for 34 years and also coaches cross country. A fact that will surprise many people is that he has a masters in social work from CSU Sacramento and an undergraduate degree in counseling from UC Irvine. But his true passion is science. Throughout his time here at CB, he taught in the science department, including teaching Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology, Watershed Biology, Psychics, and Engineering. He also worked in administration and as an athletic director for a few years. However, he found that teaching was his true calling.
“When I did nothing but teach and coach, I felt like I found my calling. I knew I was in the right place doing the right thing at the right time”. He told me that he enjoys the constant learning of being a teacher because, with each course he taught, he was forced to learn something new. He is able to build a connection with his students, whom he finds bring him the most fulfillment and joy out the job.
Retiring is a milestone in each person’s lives, and if you passionately love what you do, it is hard to give that up. Being ready for retirement is not a series of things to check off a list, but as math teacher Ms. Safford puts it, a feeling of needing to “let go”. Ms. Safford thought about retiring last year, but she said that she wasn’t quite ready for that to be her last year. She said she didn’t have a reason but that she knew she wasn’t ready like she is now.
Ms. Safford is known at Christian Brothers for her role in the math department and the environmental club. She has been teaching for thirty years and she has a degree in geology from Montana State University and a teaching credential in mathematics and psychical science from San Francisco State University. But she didn’t always teach math — her first teaching position was in Chemistry.
“I think it will be an adjustment to wake up and not feel like I have to be doing something,” she. Doing the same thing you love for that long and then deciding it’s time to move on will not be easy, but at the same time, it must be freeing. Waking up to take time for yourself and not feeling like you have to go 100 miles an hour. Slowly sipping your coffee and enjoying the morning sounds rather than racing off to be at school at 8 AM. With her free time, she plans to take more time for herself by reading, gardening, traveling, bird watching, and painting.
“I don’t need to worry about meetings, being here, to do this, to prepare a class, to correct papers,” said Mrs. Mundo. Retirement will be a time for her to relax and enjoy the simplicity of life because teaching does have parts to it that are not so appealing like working on Sundays and morning meetings. What she does enjoy is working with the students. She loves teaching and said that the “students make it hard” to leave. She knows that she will miss the Lasallian community and the place that is like a second home.
Mrs. Mundo has been teaching for a total of 42 years, 29 of those years serving at Christian Brothers. Before coming to Christian Brothers, she taught in Mexico and then in the Bay Area. She has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and culture from the University of Cuernavaca in Mexico. With her free time, she hopes to have more time for exercise, dancing, and traveling more with her husband. She is possibly looking to have a vacation home in Hawaii.
At the end of each interview I asked each teacher a piece of advice they would like to leave behind:
Mr. Delgado: “Stop making it about the grade. When it’s all about the grade you forget about the learning.”
Ms. Safford: “Every single person makes a difference. Keep trying to protect the planet.”
Mrs. Mundo: “They [students] are superior to technology.”
Retirement comes with mixed emotions. It is the closing of one door and and the opening of a new one. The Christian Brothers community will miss these individuals, but we are happy for them and hope they come back to visit.