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Dear Mrs. Jansen and Mrs. Werner

Mrs. Jansen and Mrs. Werner will retire at the end of the 2016-2017 school year after nearly two decades each teaching at El Modena

(Top to bottom) Mrs. Jansen and Mrs. Werner smile for their official staff photos.

(Top to bottom) Mrs. Jansen and Mrs. Werner smile for their official staff photos.

(Top to bottom) Mrs. Jansen and Mrs. Werner smile for their official staff photos.

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Mrs. Jansen began teaching at El Modena in 1998, and over a span of nineteen years has graced the Language Department by teaching multiple languages: German 1/2/3/4/AP, Spanish 1, English 9, and Beginning English and Reading. Intermingled with her role as a teacher, Mrs. Jansen also acts as an Academic Language Mentor and Writing Center Coach.

Thoughts of leaving El Modena prove pensive for Mrs. Jansen as it has been her, “work-home for many years and [has] spent every workday (and joined in some non-work amusements) with the greatest group of colleagues and friends anyone could ask for.” Mrs. Jansen has also added to the friendly competition at El Modena, “in the Vanguard room [with] the opportunity to put Michigan teams into the bowl /NCAA brackets each season!” Regarding her students, she, “will miss the ‘Holas’ and ‘Hellos’ from students and laughing and learning with them.”

As Mrs. Jansen reflects on her own memories as a teenager, including “prom—[and] staying up all night and running around the city”, she bestows parting words upon current Vanguards to, “PARTICIPATE IN AND ENJOY both fun and learning. Remember: Laugh or cry, your day goes by. Also, the dumbest thing in the world is to occupy a desk in a classroom all year and learn nothing…that’s just doing the time but missing the prime. DARE YOURSELF—in positive and socially appropriate ways! Be PROUD to be a Vanguard and do what you can to care for and support your fellow Vanguards!”

Mrs. Werner began teaching at El Modena in 2001, and over a span of sixteen years has graced the Arts Department with her teaching abilities in Art 1/2/3/4, AP Studio Art, and Ceramics. Her impact on the lives of students artistically continues beyond their high school years and into creative adulthood.

Mrs. Werner’s decision to teach early in life has allowed her the opportunity to leave her mark on students, while also entering retirement early with plans of “traveling, painting and surfing.” In addition to motivating Vanguards to utilize their creative spark, Ms. Werner also encourages students to “figure out as soon as you can what your career is going to be so you can plan your future and not have to work forever…

Before she leaves El Modena for a creative and relaxing retirement, Ms. Werner shares one of the most wacky and memorable events that occurred at El Modena, “when all the projects were thrown away by a custodian and [we] had to go to waste management and watch as a bulldozer move the garbage around [to locate the artwork]. Luckily, all the artwork was in a plastic bag!”

The students and faculty of El Modena that shared these unusual events with Ms. Werner has made her transition into retirement bittersweet, in which she says she will continuously be, “missing my colleagues and students.”

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