Farewell Teachers! We Love You!

This year, five beloved staff members are retiring. Colton fleece will never be the same without them! While for them it’s the Starnes of something new, we wonder whether they’ll be Weber off without us. Nevertheless, we thank them for Rawls the good memories and congratulate them. We thank God they’re all Frey.

Ms. Weber 

After seven long years at GGHS, AP Ms. Weber is finally retiring. She is well-loved by so many Argos for her spirit, energy, and her passion for all things Grove and each individual student. Throughout her time here, you could find her attending almost every event, from sports games to assemblies.

Ms. Weber attended Oregon State University and realized she hated it before going to Long Beach State and graduating from there.  Her second grade teacher influenced her to go into education. She loves the students, and her co-workers and is going to miss all of the fun events and sports.

“I remember her coming in with about the same energy as a Category 4 hurricane! She was very excited and had many ideas and plans for her time at Garden Grove High School,” says former secretary Christine Porter. “She helped streamline our registration day, testing schedules, and also implemented some fun things for our staff to participate in, such as the Christmas Cookie Exchange. Mrs. Weber could be found on the football field ‘coaching’ various sports and school activities, not because she had to, but because she truly enjoyed them. She has a heart of gold and cares deeply about all things Argonaut. She advocates tirelessly for better fields, facilities, and cares deeply for students and their achievements.”

Ms. Weber could always be found at various sporting events cheering on the players and motivating everyone to do their best.  She stated, “My best memory was the first time in the school’s history football won CIF.  That game was very exciting and came down to the last play”.

One thing Ms. Weber has always been known for is her love for GGHS.  Not just because it’s her job, but because she genuinely loves the atmosphere.  Ms. Weber commented, “I’m really going to miss the kids, co-workers, and going to all the sporting events, especially football.”

Ms. Weber will be missed by all as she goes to have an exciting experience in her retirement.  Thank you Ms. Weber for all that you do for this school and have a great time living it up in retirement!

Mr. Rawls 

After passionately serving GGHS for 33 years, Mr. Rawls, a PE teacher, will retire at the end of this year. Not only has he been here working for a long time, but with his dedication and hard work, he’s left a huge impact on the students and teachers as well.

After knowing Mr. Rawls for thirty-five years, Mr. Orozco, the current track and field coach, has a lot to say. Way back in summer of 1983 when Mr. Rawls just started working, he coached for the first two Varsity football teams with Mr. Orozco as a player. Mr. Orozco’s  first impression of him was that he was a hard head, but with time of getting to know him better, he sometimes actually had a great sense of humor. Mr. Rawls’ first year of coaching turned out to be a great start for Mr. Rawls, taking the ’83 and ’84 football teams to CIF.  Because of his dedication towards the football team, they are only the two teams in a span of eight years that made it to CIF!  Mr. Rawls also had some great baseball teams with some phenomenal baseball players. In addition, he officiated the wrestling team during the time with Mr. Orozco in the 90’s, allowing the two to see each other quite often. Mr. Orozco says, “I would wish him well in his retirement and encourage him to take some trips and read some good Jack Reacher books. This school will miss a longtime PE teacher, baseball and football coach. Good luck, old timer!​”

Perhaps Mr. Rawls is mistaken for a grumpy old man, but behind the scenes, he has helped out many students. After knowing Mr. Rawls for almost more than 10 years, Mrs. Beardslee, a Spanish teacher, shares how it’s “been a pleasure working with him.” Some of us may not have had Mr. Rawls as a teacher or coach, or never had a chance to start a conversation with him, but with time of getting to know him “under that rough exterior, he is a kind and caring man.” Mr. Rawls has motivated the “hard to reach students” and given direction to some students that have challenged other teachers. He strives to encourage students to achieve and do well. I am going to miss seeing him every morning; I don’t think anyone can replace him at the breakfast club.”

Tiffany Chau, (10), shares her thoughts with Mr. Rawls, after having him as a PE teacher for her Freshman and Sophomore year. Many of us are not all morning people, but having Mr. Rawls as her 0 period teachers has brightened up her mornings everyday. “His sense of humor and horrible jokes has helped me get through PE very well. It’s unfortunate that he’s retiring, but he’ll always be remembered at GGHS for making kids run the mile.”

Thank you for everything, Mr. Rawls; Garden Grove High School is incredibly fortunate to have such a devoted teacher like you to inspire students here. The teachers and students at GGHS will miss you dearly. Also, thanks for RAWLS the good memories!

Ms. Godfrey 

Many of us might have walked these halls for years hearing Ms. Godfrey’s name but never really knowing who she was. She’s as sweet as the picture of the ideal grandma baking you cookies and keeping up an easy conversation. She has been teaching for forty-seven years, twenty-six of which were spent at Garden Grove High School. Having taught for so long, “I will miss my friends, students, teachers, and staffs the most,” says Ms. Godfrey.

Her high school teacher inspired her to also pursue a career in education. Ms. Godfrey got her degree at Pasadena Nazarene College in San Diego, now called Point Loma Nazarene University. Prior to teaching special education, Ms. Godfrey also taught English and History. She eventually went into special education because she wanted to see if she could help solve problems. Ms. Godfrey says that teaching changed her life by strengthening her sense of humor.

“Learning takes humility,” says Ms. Godfrey. “Students, teachers, administration — we all need it.”

Some of her favorite memories from Grove are the hugs she’s gotten from students. “Sometimes kids would give me hugs on a really down day. It gave me strength for the day because I don’t feel like I deserve hugs” Ms. Godfrey does not have any set plans for after retirement, but she says it will be exciting.

“I don’t really have one, answered Ms. Godfrey when asked to give one piece of advice to students who are struggling to find the perfect career. “Although many people say to do something you love, it’s important to remember that no career is perfect. You can go into your dream career and still have a bad day.”

Mr. Takach, also a special education teacher, shares, “I have known Janet Godfrey for the past 12 years. My first impression, (and I imagine the impression of others, as well) is that she is so fashionable yet very professional in her attire. One would assume her to be quite “serious.” This first impression would prove, quite immediately, to be a false one. Over the years, I have spent so many times laughing with Janet until I was brought to the point of tears. She has an absolutely hilarious sense of humor. Her sardonic wit would certainly serve her well as a stand-up comic, if she decides to choose a second career. I will greatly miss our conversations and of course, the laughs. Best of luck, Janet, and enjoy your retirement!”

Thank you, Ms. Godfrey, for all of your hard work these past twenty-six years and for all the smiles you’ve brought to your students! We hope that your years at Grove have been the highlight of your teaching career. We wish you all the best in your retirement!

Mr. Starnes 

Although his current demographic of students is limited to seniors, Mr. Starnes is still well-known by most people on campus after almost thirty years here. He’s ½ of the K of the iconic boyband 2B2K, the only teacher with a complete monopoly over the economics program, the good-natured participant of many school activities — including being the target of a roast at a faculty talent show — and, unfortunately, one of the teachers retiring this year.

Mr. Starnes graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a double major in philosophy and history, and began his teaching career in 1986 with a slightly younger age demographic at Bell Intermediate. In 1988, he switched his allegiance from that of the Roadrunners to the Argonauts. Although known primarily for economics now, Mr. Starnes has taught a broad scope of subjects at Garden Grove High School, including civics, Western Civilizations (World History’s predecessor), World History, both regular and AP U.S. History, Geography, and PE. He also served as the school’s ASB advisor from 2008 to 2013.

“I wouldn’t have stepped down from that position if Mr. Nguyen hadn’t been on campus,” says Mr. Starnes. “He was my one and only choice for a successor.”
Mr. Starnes not only taught an abundance of classes — he also coached tennis for most of his years at Grove. He took on the role of tennis coach his first year at Grove and led multiple teams to CIF victories until 1997. In 2001, he returned as assistant coach, which he remained as until 2006. Even eleven years later, it’s common to hear Mr. Starnes asking his tennis playing AP students for updates on their games and progress.

Coaching tennis, as Mr. Starnes states, is one of his favorite memories from his time at GGHS. Other favorites include the time spent working with the ASB students during his time as advisor, and, of course, the hours upon hours of study sessions spent cramming with his AP students the night before the AP test. Another memorable part of his time at GGHS? Here, he met his wife, Ms. Cardoza, a fellow teacher.

In the fall of 1990, both Mr. Starnes and Ms. Cardoza shared a class, and in his own directly quoted words, “She was crazy about me. I took her on a string of romantic dates that fall and she became smitten with me.” They got married in 1992, and as Mr. Starnes says, “the rest is history.”

For his last few years at GGHS, he has headed the economics program, both regular and AP. Economics, he says, is his favorite subject that he’s taught.

“It’s something they’ve never been exposed to before, and it challenges students,” he explains. And even if the subject matter can be brutal, his students still looked forward to his class every day.

“He’s a generous teacher,” says Eddie Ortega (12). “He wants to teach his students valuable life lessons, and I like his positive outlook on life. I say this too because he took time out of the period to help me fill out a questionnaire to register for the UCR sports program, which I appreciated very much.”

Lina Nguyen (12), also an AP Economics student, adds, “Thanks for all the extra credit and giving me the brightest smile even though I had no idea what I just learned.”

What next, after twenty-nine years spent on this campus? Mr. Starnes says that his retirement plans are a “work in progress,” but he does plan on taking the Midwest by storm. More accurately, he plans on stormchasing, which involves joining a tour in the Midwest in late spring to trail all of the storms he can find.

He may be retiring, but he hopes that what he taught, both in terms of educational content and life lessons, will remain in his students’ minds. He says, “Something I learned when I was young that I want to pass onto my students is a piece of advice that my dad gave me. You may not always be able to change your circumstances, but you can always change your attitude towards those circumstances.”

Clearly, he’s been successful on both fronts. Michael Truong (12), says, “Before I had him as a teacher, I’d often see Mr. Starnes in Mr. Lunow’s room during lunch — he was a friendly and approachable teacher who, through my four years of knowing him and his career as a teacher, showed us what being an Argonaut was really like.”

“Mr. Starnes is the truest interdisciplinarian I know. Not only has he taught so many disciplines throughout his tenure, but he has taught me so many disciplines just within Economics itself! Little did I know that a subject subjected to scarcity and (unfortunately) not-so-scarce graphs could be so rich in history and philosophy!” shares Marissa Garcia (12). “Mr. Starnes, paperback book connoisseur, I am astoundingly appreciative for you always alliterating with all of us Argonauts!”

Thank you, Mr. Starnes, for all of the dedication you put into your work, the seemingly unending hours of tutoring, and the annual cutthroat AP student LIFE game competition following the AP Macroeconomics Test. We wish you all the best in your retirement!

Mr. Colton 

 

While anxiously waiting for the end of the school year, we’re also saying our goodbyes to our peers and beloved teachers. This year, however, we also all must say goodbye to four retiring staff members. Your experience here at Garden Grove High School may feel like the longest four years of your life, but four years is nothing compared to Mr. Colton’s forty years working at GGHS.

Ever since 1977, Mr. Colton, a teacher in the Science Department, has devoted his time and energy to building students’ health knowledge and skills. He has taught for thirty-seven of those years, but spent his first three years at GGHS as a water polo coach. Some of us cannot even imagine willingly setting foot on Grove’s campus again after graduating and putting in any more time than completely necessary. However, Mr. Colton did just that — he attended GGHS as a student, and then returned here to work for another forty years as a proud Argonaut. After graduating in 1973, Mr. Colton decided to expand his education by earning his bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona and then his teaching credential from UCI. Mr. Colton’s dedication to his work stems from his love for working with kids, which is what he says he will miss most. He taught in multiple departments, coached, and raised a family. “He did it all.” Mr. Osborne mentions. One of his four children graduated from MIT and another graduated from Harvard.

“I want to thank him for influencing the lives of over 6,000 students. He changed a lot of lives and made students’ experiences at Garden Grove High School the best they could be. Throughout my seven years here, he was always an advocate for his teaching colleagues and for his students,” says Mr. Osborne. “I think of him as being successful in everything that has to do with learning: his own learning, his athletes’ learning, his classroom students’ learning, and the education of his own family. I will miss how he quietly went about his business of teaching kids and leading by example.”

After spending so much of his life at GGHS, Mr. Colton has made many memories from  school, Mr. Colton has developed many memories throughout his experience here. When he was here as a student, Mr. Colton played water polo, swimming, and volleyball. “I was on the first boys volleyball team at Grove” adds Mr. Colton. Additionally, he coached water polo and swimming.

Mr. Colton claims that one of his favorite memories here at Grove is as a student: meeting his future wife. It all started off in math class. She sat one row away from him and every day when she would walk in, the only thought that came across Mr. Colton’s mind was, “WOW.” She was trying to get him with one of her best friends in the first place, however “she was the one I wanted to go out with.” says Mr. Colton. Ultimately, he loved watching the school change for the better, as well as being a part of it. Throughout his time here, he’s seen the school go from “basically all white” to having “so many different nationalities” and the students become more and more welcoming and accepting.

“Something that hasn’t changed is that Grove has the best teachers and students,” he says.

Many students might not have known the shocking truth that between being a student and teaching, Mr. Colton has been on this campus for six different decades. Knowing that this year is coming to an end and his time of retirement is coming closer, Mr. Colton expresses, “I will miss the students and staff the most here at Garden Grove High School. It has been an honor to teach the wonderful kids here at Grove. The other teachers here at Grove are also fantastic and have been very kind and supportive.”

 

Before Health Mr. Colton taught many subjects of mostly Science and PE. He enjoys teaching about Health because it is so relevant/important to everyone. After retirement, he hopes to travel and spend time with family. Mr. Colton strives to motivate students to “keep trying and never give up. Find something you love and give it your all.”

 

Mr. Colton, Garden Grove High School would like to thank you for your hard work while being here at GGHS and appreciate everything you do. During the upcoming school year of 2018, we and your students will be missing you, however we wish you the best during your retirement. The COLTON fleece will never be the same without you.