Two dedicated teachers retire from SLE

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 0 Comments

Two dedicated teachers retire from SLE
Spanish Lake Elementary (SLE) bids a fond farewell to two highly proficient, talented and respected veteran teachers, Sharon Dames and Sharon Wallen who retired this past June.
The teachers were surprised at an end of the year school retreat with a full day on the Ft. Lauderdale water taxi with stops along the way for unity games, food refuels, praise, songs and plaques for the retirees. At the end of the year, each grade-level celebrated their retiring teacher with student led activities and a luncheon.
Dames, born and raised in the Bahamas, knew from the time she was in high school that her goal was to become a teacher. She enjoyed helping any student with their studies. Not being fond of the limelight and being very modest, she could only except thanks.
She fulfilled her dream with graduation from Barry University and graduate degrees from the University of Florida and Barry University. Teaching in the Bahamas and then in Miami-Dade County Public schools, she completed 41 years of teaching with her specialty being Language Arts. Her goal was to remain in the classroom enhancing one child’s education and life at a time.
She loved her teaching time at SLE as she felt she grew so much professionally. She worked with such knowledgeable teachers who always helped each other, planned together and were there to always “boost” each other. Now, Dames is ready to join her husband in retirement, declutter her home, garden, stay active at church, reach out to help the elderly and participate in all family functions. Entering the honorable profession of teaching as a career was the best decision Dames claims she could have ever made.
Wallen excelled in the area of Language Arts and has served from reading coach to curriculum support specialist to teacher of gifted. The most important part of her job was to ensure her students excel, gain confidence and witness growth within a peaceful classroom environment infused with stress management strategies. Each year, she inspired to be more creative and with better success.
Wallen’s achievements are many, such as designated on the National Teachers Honor Roll, National Deans List, 2018-2019 Marquis Who’s in America and Who’s Who In American Teachers which identifies the most influential teachers. She’s active in Delta Kappa Pi, an honorary society for key women holding key positions from historian to chapter president.
Her biggest surprise this year came from Mayor Carols A, Gimenez, District 3 Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson and County Commissioner Esteban Bravo Jr. who awarded her praise and a special certificate for her community contributions. For 17 years,Wallen participated in the HOPE Contest initiative to raise public awareness for care of domestic animals initiated by Dr. Martin J, Karp, District 3 MDCPS School Board. Each year her class placed first in the class division.
Although Wallen looks forward to retirement, she proclaims, “Do love what I do!” She will miss the camaraderie of this miraculous SLE staff and watching her group of students develop and grow. As to what she hopes retirement brings, she responded that she believes faith rules everything, “we have a purpose and God has a plan for our lives.”
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