5 teachers announce their June retirements

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By Jonathan Moore and Emanne Johnson

Staff Writers

Five teachers have announced their June retirements from Southfield High School. They are as follows:

THOMAS MILLER, BAND TEACHER

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Band director and Advanced Placement Music Theory teacher Thomas Miller is retiring after 10 years at Southfield High School and 40 years of teaching.

Miller, who has led the school’s Marching Blue Jays band to numerous competition victories during his tenure at Southfield High School, says his favorite memory of Southfield High is undoubtedly the kids he has taught.

Miller says he hopes his students remember their band days as “fun—lots of laughter, every day, every class.”

Besides teaching and directing the band, Miller has taken his show on the road. He and the band students have travelled out of state on numerous occasions for band competitions and often returned home with hardware in the form of trophies to show for their efforts.

He also helped many of his students receive college scholarships for their music skills.

Miller, an avid deer hunter and fisherman, says he plans to spend his retirement refinishing furniture and renovating his new home in Rogers City, Mich., located on Lake Huron.

Senior Patricia Forbes, who served as the head drum major this year, said she is sad about the departure of Miller but is happy for his future. “He has done a lot here for a long time. It had to happen sometime.”

LINDA KEVORKIAN, ENGLISH TEACHER

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A teacher for 33 years and Blue Jay for 10, English teacher Linda Kevorkian will be retiring this year to the dismay of her students.

Kevorkian has also sponsored a senior class and supervised online courses while at Southfield High School.

Her decision to retire was brought on by an injury she suffered that has decreased her mobility and made it difficult for her to walk. Even so, Kevorkian loves to dance and has enjoyed remaining as active as possible despite only having vision in her left eye.

She says that she loves everything about her students: “No matter what their reputation is—I can always find something to love about them.”

Kevorkian has taught in a “very relaxed and student-centered” classroom, she says. “I fight with other teachers over my students,” to make sure they succeed, she laughingly says.

Senior Sharrieff Moore credits Kevorkian with his graduation. “She would kick my butt sometimes and made sure that I went to class.”

Kevorkian plans to spend time with her three grandchildren and daughters, one of whom is pregnant and one of whom is engaged to be married.

If able, Kevorkian says she hopes to teach reading at the community college level.

JEANETTE MURPHY, ENGLISH TEACHER

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Sophomore English teacher Jeanette Murphy will be retiring after 31 years in education.

During her career she worked as both an English teacher and a guidance counselor.

Murphy, who has been working at Southfield High for 9 years, says, “My favorite thing about teaching has been seeing a turnaround or progress in my students.”

She describes her teaching style as “organized and structured, but with flexibility where needed.”

She is known for keeping a neat and tidy classroom despite the crush of student papers that cross her desk.

“She likes to be our friend but she is still a teacher, basically,” said sophomore Ka’Chyna Hayes. “She communicates with us a lot. She interprets things to make it simpler” for students, Hayes said.

Murphy says she will miss interacting with the students, but she will enjoy her retirement. “I plan to travel to places I’ve never been and continue to work on my Spanish and Portuguese.” Murphy already has a trip to Asia and Costa Rica lined up and is looking forward to both.

However, Murphy says, “Before I get to doing everything else, I plan to spend more time with my family.”

THOMAS HURLEY, PHYSICS & GYM TEACHER

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Thomas Hurley, the self-proclaimed “Doctor of Physics,” is retiring from teaching after 35 years.

“Every day I came to school, the kids made me laugh,” says Hurley.

During his 28 years at Southfield High, Hurley taught physical education for 25 years and coached track, baseball and football. He assisted in the former Positive Peer Influence drug abuse support group and the intramural basketball league in the 90s.

Hurley, who currently teaches Physics, says that while many of his students are well aware of his love of sports, few know that he was not only the captain of his high school football team but also his college football team at Wayne State University.

Another surprising fact about Hurley is his 30 years of experience in construction, which he says he will pursue full-time after retiring. “I won’t slow down,” he says, “I love to work.”

Along with working in construction, Hurley says he plans to spend time with his wife, whom he met in 1975. “We worked at a bar,” he says. “I was a bouncer, and she was a waitress, and we’ve been married for 31 years.”

Throughout his career, Hurley says his precept has always been “Relax and make it fun. Kids have enough going on in their lives… they don’t need another dude on their case.”

Senior Amani Johnson says that she wishes more students could have benefited from Hurley’s “humorous” attitude that she loves.

MARY CORRIDORE, SPANISH TEACHER

Corridore did not wish to be interviewed or featured, preferring instead to “go quietly,” she said.