A Tribute to Departing Teachers

As the Lick-Wilmerding community waves farewell to the graduating class every year, we also must bid goodbye to members of the faculty and staff. Some of those who are leaving have been members of the community for one year and others have been here for forty!  Each will be dearly missed.

Rachel Botamino (World Languages)

Rachel Botamino spent her final year of her 40 year career as a teacher at Lick. Most of her career was spent at Gateway, and a few years at Balboa, International, and Urban. What Botamino will miss the most about Lick is her students and the co-workers she befriended during this year. The students are “so nice. After my first class, everyone said ‘thank you.’ I was so surprised because I thought they would be hurrying to get out to the next class.” She thought the thank yous happened because she was a new teacher and it was the first day, but everyone continued to say thank you after every class for the entire year and she couldn’t believe it. Botamino will also miss the “delicious food from the caf” as well as “everything else about Lick-Wilmerding.” She will keep in touch with those with whom she has made friendships.

Zach Nacev (LSC) 

Zach Nacev has worked alongside Winifred Montgomery in the LSC, managed testing, and subbed for English classes. Nacev will be leaving to move to the windy city to attend graduate school at the University of Chicago where he will study History (20th century Latin America). When asked what he will miss about Lick the most, he said that he would miss the students and the assemblies at which guest speakers visit: “The community meetings and assemblies that happen [at Lick] are things I haven’t experienced at the high school I went to or in past high schools where I’ve worked.” Nacev said that Lick has taught him how important having a sense of mindfulness is. He notes, “In graduate school, people really admire themselves in their own little world.” Mindfulness is something that he will take with him to the University of Chicago. What Nacev will miss about Lick the most is the diversity of students’ interests, “the hidden talents and skills people have that make up the student body.”

Georgiana Osipova (World Languages)

After teaching for 40 years at LWHS, Señora Georgiana Osipova retired from Lick at the beginning of the spring semester.  During her years here as a Spanish teacher, she taught thousands of students. She also met her husband and colleague, Oleg Osipoff. Osipova leaves behind fond memories with the many students who still remember her energizing classes. Alumni Olivia Evans, ‘2010, recalls that “Ms. Osipova…is without a doubt the best teacher I have ever had.” High-energy, passionate and inspirational. Osipova says, “In the Spanish classroom, my students’ obvious desire to know Spanish is what motivates me to support them in every possible manner.” “There is really no limit to what Georgina Osipova is willing to do to help her students, and her students are inspired to push themselves to reach their highest potential. She works tirelessly in the pursuit of excellence and has helped thousands of students to become proficient in the language about which she is so passionate…she also models what it means to be a lifelong learner,” says Luke Alessandroni, a fellow World Language teacher at Lick. Osipova left a positive impression on the entire school. Joanna Bethencourt, a fellow Spanish teacher, remembers “her dedication to her students. She dedicated her life to education and teaching Spanish, and her students thrived in her classroom. It is a gift to work besides someone like Georgiana Osipova.”

Tamara Pellicier (English)

After 12 years of teaching English at Lick, Tamara Pellicier has decided that this year will be her last. She taught English classes during the first semester, then went on maternity leave second semester to give birth to and care for her new son. When asked what she will miss about Lick the most, she said the students, faculty and staff. Pellicier was known for centering her agenda around how her students felt that day, letting them get breakfast in the cafe during the first block or focus on sleep the night before rather than homework. “The lessons I learned from simply listening to my students are ones I will always carry with me.” She considered her students’ opinions before her own: “Whether I agreed with my students or not, I learned how important it is to keep their experience at the center of any decisions I make in my classroom.” This semester she is spending time with her wife, daughter, and son which is something she looks forward to doing for the rest of her life.

William Sauerland and Paul McCurdy (Choral)

The dynamic choral program teaching duo of William Sauerland and Paul McCurdy will not be returning next school year. Sauerland has been the choral teacher for six years. Although McCurdy was only officially added to the Lick faculty just this school year, he has been assisting in the choral program for seven. What both Sauerland and McCurdy will miss about Lick is the students that they have worked with every year. Sauerland reflects on each graduating class and says that he “misses every class. Students form impressions on our minds and our hearts.”  He misses the students he has had in every class in each school year.  Sauerland will be finishing up his doctorate at Columbia University, in addition to continue teaching at Chabot College in Hayward and conducting his two community choruses. When asked what he would do differently if he had a chance to redo everything, Sauerland offers nothing he would change — no regrets.

Bon voyage, departing friends. Visit us often.

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About Marcus Veal

Marcus is a senior at Lick and this is his first year being a member of the Paper Tiger and the Hyphen. Throughout his life as a student one of his favorite parts of school is to write. He loves writing and writing especially about sports at lick and outside of lick. Marcus reads a lot of Sports Illustrated magazines and that magazine inspired his to take Journalism this year. He is very excited about writing for the Paper Tiger and the Hyphen.

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