The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School
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A Career and a Calling

June 7, 2018

Next week, Ms. Baker, Ms. Esposito, Ms. Halapy, Mr. Hambrick, and Madame Zaun will conclude their careers here at NASH.  We sat down with each of them to reflect on their years in education.

Ms. Louise Baker

photo by Kaycee Orwig

Ms. Louise Baker

Years in Education

I have been here at NASH for 18 years and I was at no other school before NASH. I went to college a bit later in life so I was more of a nontraditional student.

Subject(s) Taught

I always wanted to be a librarian and I am so glad I ended up here at this high school.

Best Memory at NASH

I can’t specify just one, but my best memories here will always be of the students that I’ve met along the way and the staff here, which has been like my second family for 18 years.

Plans after Retirement

Yes, lots of travel plans, nothing too exotic. I like to be outdoors, so I have some plans already made for the fall, mostly biking, kayaking, and hiking trips.

What new activities do you plan to pick up after you retire?

My activities will include anything outdoors. If I wouldn’t have been a librarian, I think I would’ve been an environmental science teacher because I’m all about nature and being outside. I plan to stay involved with education, probably through the Audubon society, teaching classes about Monarch butterflies or birds, something with young people that will keep me young.

If you could make any last change to NASH what would it be?

I think that there are some changes in progress that will continue here in the library, and I hope that we continue to get more technology in here. Also, I wish that more teachers would bring classes down to the library in the future to utilize the great space we have.

*Student Tribute*

“Ms. Baker is amazing. I’m in the library almost every day for study hall, and it’s always such a relaxing atmosphere to be in. She is such a caring person. There have been a few times when I’ve been in the library with some friends working on a piece of writing or something, and often we ask her for help and she gives great advice and is extremely helpful.” ~Christian Giannetti

Ms. Kathryn Esposito

photo by Kaycee Orwig

Ms. Kathryn Esposito

Years in Education

I have been at NASH since 1997. I spent a little bit of time at NAI as a permanent sub, and I actually started my career at North Allegheny at Bradford Woods Elementary School.

Subject(s) Taught

I have taught Composition, Writing 3, American Literature, Honors English, and Kindergarten as a special education aide. Honors English was my favorite.

Best memory at NASH

I don’t know if I have one best memory, but the best memories are when students would come in and say that they were inspired to read something on their own, or they spotted vocabulary words in something they were reading, or they talked about their novels at dinner, or when they would stay after class to write extra questions. Those kinds of things were the best. Also, my first publication of VARIATIONS with Ms. Lombardi. We have published from 2011-2018, and it has been very rewarding. The best memory with staff members at NASH is the laughter. Sharing funny stories on our most exasperating days and making each other laugh, especially Mr. Rhinehart next door and Mrs. Lombardi.

Plans after Retirement

I haven’t really made any yet. I would like to go back to Italy. I was there eight years ago, and I would enjoy going back.

What new activities do you plan to pick up after you retire?

I plan on reading for pleasure all the books that I have wanted to read but never had time for. And I am going to help my youngest daughter with child care three days a week. I love working in the yard, baking, and cooking. I am pretty much of a homebody like that, so I will be doing a lot of those activities.  

If you could make any last change to NASH what would it be?

[Laughing] A window in my room.

*Student Tribute*

“Mrs. Esposito always brought the words to life through fun activities. I loved starting my day with one of Esposito’s peppermints or the occasional cookie she baked for the class. I grew a greater appreciation for literature and shuffleboard.” ~Griffin McVay

Ms. Mary Lynn Halapy

photo by Kaycee Orwig

Ms. Mary Lynn Halapy

Years in Education

At NASH, this is 14 years, but I was at Hosack, Peebles, and Bradford Woods for 8 years prior to coming here. So twenty two total at North Allegheny School District.

Best memory at NASH

Well, we’ve had a lot of injuries and weird stuff happen in this building, but the best memory is hard to think of, because really just taking care of kids is the best every year. The majority of the kids in this building are healthy to begin with, and they’re all old enough to have a conversation and talk about what’s best for them, which is part of a reason I like working here at the high school rather than the elementary schools. But there really isn’t one best memory that sticks out. I mean, there have been some hysterical moments, but nothing that comes off the top of my head.

Best Class

Every class is great and has their own unique personality, as most teachers would probably say. Because I started at the elementary schools, in the subsequent years up here I recognized the faces of the same frequent fliers from the elementary schools walking through the door, and it was really nice seeing kids grow up from age 5 to graduation.

Plans after Retirement

I’m planning a trip to Africa, Kenya specifically. We’re going to go on a safari, which is something that has been on my bucket list forever. I love animals, and my family and my husband are going to go in September 2019 for two weeks. The plan is to travel to camps and lodges. I’m not exactly a camper, but as I understand these camps do your laundry for you and they heat up the water for your shower and put a heating in your bed at night to keep you warm. It really sounds like five-star camping to me!

What new activities do you plan to pick up after you retire?

Well, I plan on doing a lot of things. And, again along the animal line, I plan to continue walking dogs for animal friends, I’ve thought about volunteering for the Pittsburgh Zoo and specifically the elephants — they really are my favorite. Anything animal-related would be great, but maybe even working the salad bar at Eat’n Park, or even bussing, as I like keeping things neat. I love The Container Store, so I could be an employee there. I have lots of options, but just no nursing – I’m done with that!

If you could make any last change to NASH what would it be?

I would like to see the NASH Health Office have a confidential area where the nurse could have a conversation with a student about a sensitive matter, or call a parent about a sensitive topic about their child, and not having everyone in this office hear what we’re saying. That would be the best thing that could happen to this space. They can’t give us a window, they can’t give us a sky light, but a confidential area to have a conversation would make all the difference.

*Student Tribute*

“I have to go to the Nurse’s Office every day right before lunch, and Ms. Halapy has always been helpful in making sure I take care of myself. She shows genuine concern for everyone who visits her throughout the day, and goes out of her way to build a more personal relationship with us. Even though I will not be here to see NASH after she leaves, I know that she will be missed.” ~Thomas Antonelli

Mr. Michael Hambrick

photo by Kaycee Orwig

Mr. Michael Hambrick

Years in Education

This will be my 23rd year.

What is your position here at NASH?

I am a school counselor

Best memory at NASH

I would say I don’t really have one in particular, just the people that I have met and worked with and gotten to know during my time here.

Plans after Retirement

I am moving to Reno,Nevada and probably traveling all around the western part of the country because I have never lived out there, and then probably Africa after that.

What new activities do you plan to pick up after you retire?

Probably regaining some of my old hobbies like fishing. I stopped doing it because it got so busy here, so it will be nice to get back into that again.

If you could make any last change to NASH, what would it be?

I would like to see “the bubble” be removed and allow people to explore diversity. I want people to be able to feel normal in the district, and I feel like some people don’t feel that way from a diversity standpoint, so it would be nice to see North Allegheny do something about that.

*Student Tribute*

Mr. Hambrick is a very kind person who happens to be very generous — generous with his words and guidance. He has been a great person to me and has had a great impact on me. I don’t think I would be the only person to say I will miss his presence. ~Angii Thompson

Madame Barbara Zaun

photo by Kaycee Orwig

Madame Barbara Zaun

Years Taught

I’ve taught for 41 years at North Allegheny and 44 total.

Subject(s) Taught

English and French, but only French at North Allegheny.

Best memory at NASH

Couple of things: when suddenly you see a look on a student’s face when you know they got it, that they understood. People will use the cliche of the light bulb coming on, but it’s a certain look and you know they understood it. And also when I hear graduates say, “I’m so glad I stayed with French because it’s helped me with my job,” or “I’m really enjoying teaching French.” They have found utility in the language. That makes me feel really good. I love when students see the value in language and continue it.

Plans after Retirement

I am going to France through July and August.

What new activities do you plan to pick up after you retire?

Sleeping! Followed by hopefully some biking. But sleeping will be my new activity.

If you could make any last change to NASH what would it be?

I have one World Languages Department disappointment. I’ve been here so long, and I had always hoped that we would move languages down to elementary schools and see very young students learning different languages. That’s probably been my only disappointment with the district.

*Student Tribute*

Chère Madame,

Every past and present NASH French student can wholeheartedly agree: Madame Zaun pairs French culture with fun to transcend the typical classroom experience. From belting French karaoke songs at the top of our lungs to acting out bizarre situations to practice new vocabulary, walking into French every day is one wild ride. Even on the dreariest of Monday mornings, you always make us smile.  Thank you for your unrelenting support and encouragement and for inspiring generations of French students with your boundless curiosity, passion for French and life, and of course, impeccable fashion taste. Bonne retraite! Vous allez nous manquer!

Bien à vous,

Samidha Sane & Janet Wang

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