Mrs. Simko’s Retirement 


Maddie Anzevino, Staff Writer

Mrs. Simko, one of Poland’s English teachers, will be retiring at the end of this year. 

This is her twentieth year on the faculty, and prior to this, she was a substitute teacher for a few years. She initially taught British Literature to seniors for the first few years.  Later, she taught College English 10 and College English 9, and that is where her concentration has been for the duration of her career. Additionally, she was the varsity and JV cheering advisor from 2003 – 2005.       

Mrs. Simko says that although it is difficult for her to narrow down a favorite memory, “It was always exciting when the sports team went to regionals or state, and the entire student body would be involved in promoting spirit.”

She recollects a particular memory from her classroom.

She said, “In my classroom,  I remember having the students dress in togas to act out the assassination scene in Julius Caesar, and dressing Mr. Suchora in a toga to have him give the Marc Antony soliloquy as the eulogy.  There are so many other special memories that I will forever hold in my heart.”    

In addition, earlier in her career, there was a large schoolwide medieval event that Mrs. Simko reflected on fondly. Mrs. Simko says that the Medieval event at the high school was “a huge undertaking and demanded a great deal of planning and preparation. The first year was a huge success because many of the departments cooperated. There was food from the era, and there were games and competitions as well as fencing and other demonstrations.  It was a wonderful learning experience that was cross-curriculum, since history, English, music, art, etc. could all participate.”  

Mrs. Simko says that the most interesting part about teaching at Poland is that “no two years are ever the same.  It is sometimes challenging, but it also makes it exciting.  Every year, there are different students to meet and new ways to address the learning process; we never know what the day will bring or how many interruptions there will be.” 

Something Mrs. Simko would like to add about teaching at Poland is that “there is a  stronger sense of pride in our school and community, in large part because of the high expectations of both teachers and parents.”    

During her two decades of teaching, she saw many advancements within the field of education. 

She reflected, “As a teacher, I have witnessed more change in 20 years than some retirees saw in nearly 40.  Because of those opportunities, I can truly say that I have learned more than I have taught, both in content and in human relationships.”  

After reflecting upon many books read within the past years, Mrs. Simko could not decide on a particular book; therefore, she narrowed her list down to six. 

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Tuesdays with Morrie
  •  A Tale of Two Cities
  •  Macbeth
  •  Romeo and Juliet
  •  Fahrenheit 451 

Upon retiring, Mrs. Simko has some plans in mind. She wants to do some house renovations. 

“I have house projects in mind that I have put off doing for awhile. I am blessed to have my children and grandchildren in Poland, so I will spend more time with them, and I plan to do some charity work.”

On top of that, she plans to become a part time tutor to continue her teaching journey. 

“I have discussed returning as a part-time tutor, and Mr. Snyder seems agreeable.  I really would miss my colleagues and the students if I left completely.” 

On a final note, Mrs. Simko says that she is “truly blessed to work with wonderful people and to teach students who have tremendous potential for success.”

She said, “Change is inevitable, but I believe that Poland will continue to maintain its longstanding tradition of excellence.” 

Congratulations on your upcoming retirement, Mrs. Simko!