Four VHS teachers leave to continue their
By Malia Grantor, Reporter
This spring VHS says goodbye to four educators who will be moving to the next step in their careers.
Callan Foster, who has been a librarian, para educator, and substitute teacher at VHS, has left a lasting impact on many students but will be leaving to complete her student teaching this fall. She plans to graduate this coming December. During her time at VHS, Foster cited connection as her favorite part of the job.
“[The most] special to me about working here is being able to connect with students and be there for students [when] a student is having a hard time and I get to talk to them [and] they feel heard,” Foster said.
Foster wants to become a teacher so she can educate students on things she’s excited about.
Also leaving is VHS science teacher Jordan Fostering, who will be moving to Vancouver, Washington. Fostering plans to take a break from teaching but has many ideas on jobs he wants to pursue including mentoring and working at a wilderness camp. Fostering emphasized that figuring out a career path doesn’t make you unproductive.
“It’s been a journey for me figuring out [my] time off next year. [It’s] been a big coming to understand that it’ll be okay to take some time off and not work. [I] think as a society, we often value our productivity; our identity comes from our work. We need to tell ourselves that it’s okay to not be super productive all the time, just because someone is taking a breath from work doesn’t mean that they’re not [productive, or] they’re not contributing to their community,” Fostering said.
VHS math teacher Warren Maierhofer, will also be taking some time off next year to spend time with family in Colorado. He will also continue math by tutoring students in algebra and geometry.
Even though Maierhoffer is taking a year off from teaching, he says he will miss the students. “[The students this year]; they were kind to each other. They support each other. They’re not competitors in a cutthroat sort of way. And I really have enjoyed their compassion and their sense of humor,” Maierhofer said.
Another teacher who finds himself as a mentor to many, Nicky Wilks, will be leaving VHS this year. Wilks has been working at VHS as an elective teacher for five years. His goal was to positively impact individuals’ lives and make the high school a better place than he found it. Wilks is still deciding what he will pursue this coming year, but says he is interested in finding ways to support the physical, mental, and emotional health of those around him. Seeing the impact that his teaching has had on his students’ success is where Wilks’ finds the meaning in teaching.
“One of my favorite memories is ongoing. [It’s] when I get to connect with students after they’ve been in my class; [I like to hear] something that they learned or have put into practice in their life that’s been helpful. I’ve had a past student from Entrepreneurship tell me about a landscaping business that he started, [where] he used marketing skills to create business cards and flyers and he got a lot of business. Those memories are really important to me. They helped me feel like whatever we do in the classroom has an impact in real life, it’s not just a lecture that just maybe this will be relevant one day, but something meaningful for students,” Wilks said.
On behalf of the Riptide, thank you Callan Foster, Jordan Fostering, Warren Maierhofer, and Nicky Wilks for the impact you all have had on our school. We wish you the best.