Maria Valentin Bids Farewell to SHS


Maroon Staff

Maria Valentin, SHS Social Studies teacher for 18 years, retires.

“My happiest memories relate to experiences with students and colleagues that ‘elevated’ our understanding or compassion for an issue and/or for others. This is a community of privilege where there is also a tremendous desire to learn about those different from us and to help make the world a better place,” reflected SHS social studies teacher Maria Valentin. After 18 years at SHS, Valentin is retiring and plans to do what she loves most: travel. Valentin leaves many memories and lessons with her students and colleagues. SHS social studies teacher Nicola Minchillo explains how she has admired Valentin, and how “[Valentin] has reminded me of the importance of being true to yourself, fiercely protective of the people you love, and believing in yourself.” Valentin describes retirement as “bittersweet.” She will miss the energy of everyone at SHS and the ability to help her students grow. “No matter what I do next, teaching children has been and will always be one of the most important vocations in any growing society.” Valentin is grateful for all the opportunities to learn at SHS including learning to listen to others’ perspectives without judgement and engage in respectful conversation. It’s important to be humble and sometimes vulnerable and realize that we all learn from each other,” commented Valentin. Valentin is a teacher who will be dearly missed in the hallways of SHS, leaving a strong legacy as a beloved social studies teacher. According to her former student Clara Weller ’21, “her class isn’t just about history but learning for life.” Valentin visibly cares about her students, and “has a genuine authenticity about her that cannot be duplicated,” remarked Minchillo.