By HANNAH STEELE- Students graduate and move on from IHS every year, but teachers stay and make it possible for these students to succeed in life. Now, it’s time for the roles to be reversed and for the students to say goodbye to the teachers.
As the school year winds down to an end, so does Mr. Newquist and Mrs. Versace’s time as teachers. With the news of their retirement, the students and staff of IHS are saddened but excited for what the future holds for them.
“The first day I walked into Mrs. Versace’s classroom, she gave off good vibes,” expressed freshman Roderick Jones, a French I student. “Mrs. Versace is awesome, funny, and entertaining, and she believes in all of her students. I was hoping for her to be my French teacher for next year, but it was great knowing her this year.”
Sophomore Nick Shaffer stated, “I really enjoyed having Mr. Newquist as my gym teacher freshman year. I hope that he enjoys his retirement, and I wish him the best of luck.”
Mrs. Versace grew up in North Philadelphia but came to Indiana to attend IUP to study education. Thirteen out of twenty-two years of her teaching was spent at IHS. As a teacher, Mrs. Versace instructs French I and advocates for the ESL students.
As Mrs. Versace puts it, “I love the people here. I think that we have a very professional atmosphere, yet we are very relaxed and welcoming at the same time.”
“I’m going to miss the people that I love to see every day, both my colleagues and the students,” voiced Versace.
During her retirement, Mrs. Versace plans to spend time with her grandkids, teach piano lessons, visit her son in Arizona, and work in the kitchen at Levity Brewing Company, a local craft distillery.
Mr. Newquist grew up in Indiana and went to high school at IHS. Preceding graduation, he attended Shippensburg University for library sciences. At age 29, Newquist went back to school at IUP to study physical education. Spending 22 years full-time and seven years subbing, Newquist has worked in every school building in Indiana as a gym teacher.
“I think that the energy of the school is my favorite thing about IHS,” stated Newquist. “The kids and the faculty both have a lot of energy, and it’s easy to jump on board with it.”
“I’m going to miss the kids, I know a lot of people say that. The kids keep me young, and I’m going to miss guiding them through the challenges they are going through, I like dealing with that,” expressed Newquist.
Once he is retired, Mr. Newquist intends on visiting his hunting camp, traveling to Canada to go fishing, playing golf, hanging out with his grandkids, and spending as much time outdoors as possible.
[Photos by Hannah Steele]
Photo caption: Mr. Newquist and Mrs. Versace spend their last days as teachers continuing to electrify the classroom.