Teachers Taking Off

Teachers Gregor Dieterle, Ernest Shand, and Lori Hernandez say their final goodbyes as the school year comes to a close.

Danielle Moran, Columnist

Many changes occur as one school year ends and another begins. Class courses are modified, dress codes are altered, even the lunch options are tweaked here and there. One change Horizon Honors will see next school year is the departure of three teachers: Mr. Dieterle, Mr. Shand, and Mrs. Hernandez.

High school science teacher Gregor Dieterle has taught Biology and Anatomy at Horizon Honors for 10 years, an experience that he says has been incredibly demanding but rewarding. After taking a break to rejuvenate himself, Dieterle plans on returning to school and continuing his profession as an educator. He admits that he will miss his Horizon Honors’ family, but at the same time, “pursuing new opportunities and embracing new challenges” in the future is something he is looking forward to. Although he’s ending his career as a science teacher, Dieterle does not plan on ending his relationship with the school. He humorously adds, “I will be at every graduation for as long as I get an invite.”

Physical Education teacher Ernest Shand is leaving after five years of working at Horizon Honors, four years on the secondary side of campus and one year on the elementary side. During this time, he has taught Physical Education & Health, English, Speech & Debate, and Contemporary Visual Media. He has also been the high school Boys’ Varsity Basketball Head Coach for all five years. Shand says his experience has been nothing short of amazing. “Horizon will always have a place in my heart,” he states. “I can’t say enough about the great relationships I’ve been blessed to create here… I love the people at Horizon; we’re a true school family.” Shand vowed to never leave this high school for another, and he stays true to that promise; he has been given an opportunity to pursue his career/life goals of coaching basketball at a college level, and will be an Assistant Basketball Coach for the Men’s program at Mesa Community College beginning the 15-16 school year. “I’m really going to miss my upcoming seniors, but just because I won’t be here daily doesn’t mean I won’t be a significant part of their lives,” he adds. “Same goes for the friendships with my fellow teachers/staff members.”

Lori Hernandez is a two-year Horizon Honors teacher for English 10 and American Literature and Composition. This was her first and only teaching position, other than her student teaching and internships in college, but she has now decided to follow a different calling. Hernandez will be returning to school to get her Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies, hoping to later specialize in either orthopedics or surgery. The English teacher says her time at Horizon Honors can be described with almost any adjective you can think of, and believes that Horizon Honors really is one of the best schools at which to work. She says, “The students are great, administration is very supportive, and the school just has a great community feel where you feel like you are part of a big family, not just a number like some big schools.” Hernandez has enjoyed her time at Horizon Honors and says she will remember it fondly.

Staff and students are sad to see these members of the Horizon Honors’ family go and will miss them greatly, but wish them luck with the future.