Looking Back – Retiring Teachers Share Their Wisdom


 This year at MBHS, both Mrs. Abuan and Mrs. Van Dam have announced that they are retiring. After spending almost every day with these wonderful teachers, it is important to highlight these amazing individuals and talk about the impact they have made on us and our school during their time teaching here. These instructors have the privilege of wisdom, gained over their many years of teaching experience, 

Mrs. Abuan has been teaching at our school for a long time now. She has unique experience connecting with students in that she not only teaches Mathematics, but also runs the MBHS cooking club, and regularly goes on international trips with her students through the school. This has given her the special opportunity to connect with her students in a more professional way, as their teacher, but also in an informal way. She takes the time to go above and beyond, especially with her senior students, ensuring that this group of students learns skills that are essential to adulthood, such as cooking, on top of the state curriculum.

In talking to Mrs. Abuan, she revealed that she chose her profession because she has always loved mathematics. Since working here, she has witnessed many aesthetic changes to our campus, but “still great kids.” Her favorite memory from her time working here was inviting her senior stats students to her home to have dessert. Her favorite aspect of our school is her ability to make meaningful connections with the student body. On the other hand, she says the most challenging thing about her teaching experience is working with “difficult personalities.”

Over her teaching career, Mrs. Abuan has interacted with many different students, and worked with all kinds of varying personalities, but as a piece of advice to all current and future MBHS students, she reminds us to “always do your best and be kind.” During her teaching journey, she has also worked with many staff members, and when asked to share a piece of advice, she says to “be patient, accepting, and loving.” 

As we can see by these statements, Mrs. Abuan really cares about her job and the people she works with on a day to day basis. She will most definitely be missed when she retires, but she has many adventures ahead of her.

Mrs. Van Dam is also retiring this year, and in her time here at MBHS she shared that she has seen huge changes not only with our campus, but also with our student culture. Mrs. Van Dam teaches both Sophomores and Seniors so she is able to see the same students grow and change during their time here. She teaches Economics, and Government for seniors, and AP European History for the Sophomore class. She is unique in the way that she interacts with her students, giving them essential information while also inspiring them to do their own research, especially when it comes to her Government and Economics classes. She truly puts a lot of effort into her job and although I can imagine it would be difficult from time to time, she keeps class interesting and diverse.

She says that she chose her career because she has always had a love for history and economics and wanted to share that love with others. Throughout her time here, she has gotten to experience not only her goal of sharing her passion with other students, but also how the culture of our school has changed over the years. 

Mrs. Van Dam reported that the biggest changes she has observed is the growth on campus, however a lower student population, and cell phones. She also reported that she herself has changed quite a bit since starting her career as a teacher. “I have become more flexible in my approach to things, a better listener, and learned to get to know my students.” Hardships can definitely foster change in an individual. The most difficult parts of her career were “Covid and Zoom classes,” she said that they were, “just sad and really challenging!” Finally, when asked if she had any advice to share with the student body, she said “Do not wish for it to be over as it will happen quickly enough, participate in everything you can, dances, sports, clubs and take your learning seriously. It is an amazing opportunity to prepare you for life.” As for advice for her coworkers, Mrs. Van Dam said, “Enjoy every day of your teaching career, I have always loved coming to work and being in my classroom with my students, they are 99% of the time funny, happy and so optimistic about life and the future!”

Through her statements, Mrs. Van Dam made it clear that she has a strong ability to work through challenges, not only to make her job easier, but also to better assist her students in achieving their educational goals.

Overall, teachers like Mrs. Abuan and Mrs. Van Dam have shaped our school’s culture and helped shape students for the better. It is important to appreciate them, especially in their last year working with us, and thank them for their time and the work they have put into making our school a better place, and educating our student body.


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