Editorial: A Goodbye, A New Start

People fear the unknown. They fear death, losing their loved ones, seeing unfamiliar places: Anything their brain cannot fathom, anything they can not strongly define, they fear. And as June ushers in the end of the school year and new life chapters, so too does it usher in this fear. 

With half of our Editorial Board graduating, we are not shy in our discussions of our fears––but we are not the only ones leaving behind a piece of our lives. This year also coincidentally brings about the retirement of four long-time faculty members who have spent decades walking these halls. Between graduating students and retiring teachers, our fear largely manifests the same way–an apprehension that evokes the question, “what now?” 

As seniors, we can testify that graduation is bittersweet. We’ve dedicated four years of our time, our health, and our energy to Edison High. Whether it was staying up until midnight on closing night of your theatre production, practicing every day in the heat of the spring for your sport, staying up until ungodly hours to finish preparing for that presentation that you need a good grade on, it’s not surprising to hear that leaving it all behind can feel surreally relieving. For the class of 2021, graduation means many people are  getting their first taste of real freedom—exploring their passions, gaining more knowledge, and meeting new people.

But with the new goes the old; and with the bitter, the sweet–though we’re saying goodbye to high school, we’re also saying goodbye to the town we’ve lived in for years and bidding farewell to the friends we’ve known since kindergarten. 

As new chapters open, naturally, questions of identity arise. Have I done enough? Have I made a difference? What will I do next? Though this uncertainty can spark nervousness, these new experiences feel like letting out a long drawn breath. Adulthood, and its many new wonders, await just beyond Edison High’s doors. 

Our retirees, on the other hand, are getting a different flavor of freedom. For years they have dedicated themselves to enriching the lives of countless students who have walked the Edison High halls. After retirement, these teachers will have the chance to once more focus on themselves. They can eat, live, and breathe on their own schedule, instead of living by bells and 20-minute lunches. They may feel an odd mix of disbelief and accomplishment that they are leaving after so many years dedicated to their profession.

But as both new and seasoned adults move beyond the scope of high school, the path walked becomes a little less lonelier.

Mr. Kenneth Brown, for example, who taught choral music at Edison High School for 25 years, is retiring this year. Widely loved by his students, Mr. Brown exemplifies dedication to his pupils’ success and a passion for teaching.

Mr. Anthony Barry, who taught here for 23 1/2 years, has more memories than the seniors who have been here for four do. 

Ms. Linda Ryan has taught more math students over the years than there are students in the building right now. 

Mr. Tom Kantlehner, who taught here for 27 years, is part of the success of EHS’ award-winning Vocational Workshop.

These teachers devoted their lives to the school, and leaving it all behind for a new unknown—retirement—is simultaneously frightening and exciting for them as well. As is with any long term commitment, closing this chapter of their lives may not come so easy. But as both new and seasoned adults move beyond the scope of high school, the path walked becomes a little less lonelier.   

We, the editors-in-chief of The Eagle’s Eye, wish our graduates and retirees all the best for their future, and look forward to seeing where they fly. And when you ask yourself the questions—Have I done Enough? Have I made a Difference?—remember to believe in yourself, and your future. 

Because we do.