Ms. Lisa - Tot Ziens from an ASH Retiree
Each year, our ASH community says “tot ziens” to staff, students and parents as they leave our community to embark upon new life adventures. We also celebrate and honor our retirees for all they have done during their time at ASH. Lisa, a 2023 retiree, reflects on her ASH experience during her 11 years at ASH teaching in the high school and coaching basketball.
How long have you been at ASH, and at what capacity?
I have been working at ASH for 11 years teaching mainly IB Psychology and Theory of Knowledge. I also coached Varsity Boys basketball for 8 years. How has your final year at ASH been? It’s been a whirlwind. I’ve felt like the ASH Seniors. Everything has been “the Last”. The last awards, the last December exams, the last ASH graduation…
What will you miss the most about ASH?
Of course, I will miss the students. I love my job; the students make it all worthwhile. I will miss the athletes and the travel to various countries for games and tournaments. And I will miss my colleagues, especially all the dedicated Social Studies teachers I work with.
Are there any students or colleagues that have a lasting impact on your time at ASH?
All the young men that have played Varsity basketball under my coaching. Each one of them has taught me something. My students all have had an impact as have my teaching colleagues. Probably the most inspiring teacher I had the privilege to work with teaching Theory of Knowledge, Is Dr. Marilyn Chapman. I could not match her energy (she was a human dynamo), her focus, her knowledge. That drove me to dig deeper, to rise to the challenge and definitely made me a better teacher.
What are some stand-out memories or moments for you during your career?
For certain, when the Boys Varsity Basketball team won the ISSTs in 2015. This was pre-Covid when there were 3 divisions in Boys Basketball. Depending on how you placed in the final tournament of the season, your team could be relegated to a lower division or rise to a higher division. ASH won Division 1, earning Gold in a tournament of 14 teams. ASH hadn’t won Gold since 1973 so it was a great accomplishment by a great group of boys.
Jane Goodall coming to speak at ASH was another highlight, especially from an evolutionary psychology perspective. Her love and compassion for the chimps in her care was inspiring.
Finally, COVID – and online teaching. I don’t think anyone will forget the fear of this virus, the isolation of lockdown and teaching online. Being masked as a teacher when we could venture into the classroom was tough. Teachers are performers; I didn’t realize how much my facial expressions were part of my toolkit until I had half of my face covered all day.
What do you plan to do once you retire?
I plan to keep teaching (when moving back to Canada) and hopefully coach some more basketball!
We have a diverse community of students, staff, and families from around the world. Each member of our community brings their own story that enriches the #ASHexperience.