Retiring staff

This school year marks the end of teaching for three familiar faces at Highland Park Senior High. Kathy Sabota, Beverly Lambert, and Nancy Galligan will be leaving Highland Park Senior High. Ms. Sabota is our wonderful librarian, Ms. Lambert is one of our wonderful math teachers, and Ms. Galligan is our wonderful athletic director.

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photo taken by Audrey Dahl

Kathy Sabota has been working as a librarian for about 15 years, and this is her 5th year at Highland Park Senior High. Ms. Sabota started up the street at Highland Elementary where she worked part time in the library, while she also taught at Inver Hills Community College and McNally Smith Music College (she taught writing and literature, not music). We went to interview her on her retirement.

Ms. Sabota decided to go back to college to become a school librarian because it seemed like a perfect fit for her. Teaching English, she was very familiar with research, and absolutely loved to read anything she could get her hands on. Ms. Sabota’s very first library class in grad school was on iMovie. When she first started, technology was more of an “add on” to the school library program.

In the 15 years that Ms. Sabota has worked as a librarian, libraries have made a rapid transition from being largely book-centric to being digital, technological spaces. Ms. Sabota said that, “Many libraries today are called “Learning Commons,” and they have coffee shops and make spaces where people can “make” many different things (3D printing, etc.) and collaborate on projects, in addition to doing research and reading.”

Ms. Sabota’s reply to “What is your favorite memory at HPSH?” is, “I think, it isn’t any one thing. I boast about this school to anyone who will listen. And that doesn’t mean the physical ‘school’ – it means I boast about the wonderful students and competent teachers and staff who work here. That is what a ‘school’ is, not a building.”

We asked Ms. Sabota what she will miss about working at HPSH with which she replied, “I miss a lot about working at Highland! You guys are the nicest students I have ever worked with (and I’ve been around a long time!). I will miss the students and the adults more than anything. I will also miss our teen book club!”

Even though Ms. Sabota really loves her job, she wants to retire while she still is excited about doing some new and different things. She also spends a lot of time caring for her elderly mother.

We asked Ms. Sabota what her plans were after retiring and Ms. Sabota said there were many things she still wants to try. She would like to write, paint, and play piano. Ms. Sabota wants to bike and paddleboard and also camp in the summer, whereas in the winter, she wants to ski and snowshoe. Ms. Sabota wants to take classes in cooking, Spanish, and world religions. Not only does she want to learn new things, Ms. Sabota also wants to volunteer in areas that she’s passionate about. But, she said that at the top of her list would be traveling because, it’s such a big world.

“But, still, I am grateful that I got to give what I had to offer to students all the years of my career. It’s a good feeling.” This was the last thing Ms. Sabota said about working at HPSH.

Next, we went to interview some math teachers who have collaborated with our another staff member who is retiring, Beverly Lambert.

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image taken from the Highland Park Senior High website

According to her website, Beverly Lambert has been working as a geometry teacher in the Saint Paul Public School district for 27 years now. Before working as a math teacher, Ms. Lambert spent a short time working for Home Stake Mining Company, and later the Internal Revenue Service.

Ms. Lambert began teaching at Ramsey Junior High in 1989, and she eventually moved to Cleveland Middle School. Ms. Lambert came to Highland Park Senior High in 1997, and has been a geometry teacher here ever since.

We asked some of Ms. Lambert’s colleagues to share some of their experiences of teaching with her.

Ms. Schleper, a math teacher who has worked in the same department as Ms. Lambert for about 4 years, recalls her first impression of Ms. Lambert as “being someone who is very knowledgeable”. Reflecting on her teaching time with Ms. Lambert, Ms. Schleper said, “I’ve really enjoyed being able to ask her questions and go to her for advice about everything from rubrics, to MYP grading. She is very good at teaching students the importance of self study habits, and also at collaborating with other teachers. Overall, she has been very helpful.”

Another math teacher who has worked with Ms. Lambert, is Mr. McKay. Mr. McKay has worked with her for over 11 years, and still remembers his first time meeting Ms. Lambert. “When I came to Highland Park, it was Ms. Lambert who interviewed me,” he said, “she was very professional with high expectations, yet she was very sincere.” When he was asked about how his overall teaching with her was, he replied, “I really enjoyed teaching with her, it has been very beneficial to me. I will miss her, and I hope she enjoys whatever comes her way.”

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image taken from the Highland Park Senior High website

Nancy Galligan is Highland Park Senior High’s athletic director. Ms. Galligan has worked in Saint Paul Public Schools for 32 and a half years. She has worked as an athletic director, health teacher, and as a physical education teacher. She has worked at Highland Park Senior High for 8 nonconsecutive years, and also at Highland Middle School for 2 years.

Ms. Galligan started off her career by working at Arlington High School in January of 1984. She worked there for 14 years until the school closed. Ms. Galligan says that Arlington was a memorable experience in her career. “Opening Arlington was a very unique opportunity,” she stated, “because I was with the school before it opened, and I was with it when it closed.”

After switching schools every now and then, Ms. Galligan returned to Highland Park Senior High in 2012. Reflecting on her time at Highland, she told us “Highland has been nothing but wonderful. The parents, athletes, students, coaches, colleagues, and administration. They all have been amazing.”

We asked some of Ms. Galligan’s colleagues at Highland to share their overall experience working with her.

First we talked to Mr. Lang, a gym teacher and coach at Highland who has worked with Ms. Galligan for 19 years. “She’s friendly, she’s upbeat, and she’s all about the kids,” he reflected, “She is very devoted to the students… It really goes to show what kind of a person she is.”

We also talked to Mr. Ferraro, another gym teacher and coach at Highland. “She is positive.” He said, “And fun and energetic. She is also very welcoming and a friend to everyone.”

When we asked Ms. Galligan about what she was going to do after retiring, she told us, “I am going to spend time with family and friends. I am going to get involved in other interests of mine, such as horseback riding. I am going to partake in other endeavors.”

Hopefully, we can send these teachers away happily and that whatever they plan to do after retirement is done. They have been great people to have at Highland and we are proud to have them. Even so, people always retire, so we hope they will enjoy their retirement.

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