On Thursday, May 27, the Mountain Lakes Education Association paid homage to ten educators who will retire this June. Among them are three teachers from Mountain Lakes High School: Ms. Marion Clark, Lake Drive Program; Mr. Timothy Flynn, Physical Education; and Mrs. Stephanie Pfau, English Department. These three seasoned teachers will leave a legacy of their knowledge and inspiration in the hearts and minds of each one of their students.
Ms. Clark was honored through a speech by her friend and former colleague, Marie Cataffo. Her children, Randy and Christy, were on hand to celebrate this momentous occasion with Mrs. Clark. Mrs. Clark will “deeply miss the students and faculty of MLHS,” but will not miss “getting up on a cold winters morning and the long drive to work.” Her plans include spending more time with family, as well as a trip to the Galapagos this summer. She will especially miss her peer leaders, whom she wishes will “Find a way to interact with the other groups inside and outside of school and be positive role models for the freshmen.” Ms. Clark leaves us after a thirty year career in the Mountain Lakes School district.
Coach Doug Wilkens and Kim Flynn, daughter of Mr. Flynn, spoke earnestly and humorously about his many laudable acts and achievements. Coming to the decision to retire was not easy for Mr. Flynn. “I have always loved coming to work here. My students have made my job memorable and fun.” Despite the recent issues educators face, he “would recommend teaching as a profession – if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life.”He has many plans and hopes “to be a better lacrosse coach and spend more time with [his] family.” He has various connections to the senior class through the role of physical education teacher and coach, as well as the senior class picnic activities coordinator. Mr. Flynn’s presence will be missed in the hallways of MLHS.
Mr. Paul Henry, English Department Supervisor, spoke on behalf of Mrs. Pfau with kind words from fellow colleague, Jared Barbin and her students. Her husband Phil and daughters, Madeline and Sarah, were in attendance to celebrate her wonderful career. When asked how she came to the difficult decision to retire, Mrs. Pfau felt that “she just wanted to spend more time with [her] family.” After twenty-eight years teaching English, she “will miss [her] colleagues and students,” who will also miss her wonderful laughter and compassion, and all agree, as stated by Chris Dewing ’10, that she is a “fantastic and dedicated teacher.” Mrs. Pfau “will not miss grading endless essays” and looks forward to spending her well-earned free time “reading, gardening, traveling, and volunteering,”
There will be a notable absence in the school next year with the retirement of these three professional and dedicated teachers. Those of us left behind at MLHS wish Ms. Clark, Mr. Flynn, and Mrs. Pfau health, happiness, and peace. Do come back and visit.