It’s the end of an era. On June 11, the remaining member of the infamous Business Department team at Fresno High School closed the door for the last time of S-12 and walked away from a 30-year career in business education. Janet Sanchez has left the building.
Janet is the last member of the group of teachers who started the Marketing Academy 26 years ago. It was just an idea for keeping students in school, giving them a plan for their education so that they finished high school not only with a diploma but skills to get a job. Approximately 1200 students were given that opportunity over the years. Not all of them saw it through to the end, but they all learned that there was a world of possibility out there.
Janet was the leader of the group of teachers who made it happen for the students. From classroom instruction, to field trips, to internships, the teachers and students learned together. Janet worked tirelessly to see that it was all done successfully. Some days we wanted to sit and cry and other days we rejoiced that it all came together so beautifully.
One by one the eight teachers in the business department retired. No one was replaced. The department just got smaller and smaller and the work was consolidated. Which meant it got harder and harder. Finally, the next to the last teacher left three years ago, leaving Janet to do it all. No one to banter with. No one to help make the decisions. No one to share the load.
Janet decided it was time to call it quits at the end of this school year. Bittersweet that it’s over, but joyful that it continued for all those years with all those students. Turn out the lights as you leave S-12. It’s all over.
So, Janet might say, “I’m looking for my next opportunity, in other words, unemployed.”