Three PVHS Teachers to Retire in June

This year, there are multiple staff members at PVHS going into retirement. While they will be missed, it is important to celebrate the lasting impact they’ve had on the school’s community and beyond. While many of these retiring teachers have chosen to keep it a secret, Ms. Bailey, Mr. Becker, and Señora Calhoon are happy to share their future plans and happy memories with everyone.

Cyndi Bailey

After working at PVHS for ten years, with a total of 35 years of experience teaching, Cyndi Bailey said she’ll miss watching the “light bulb moment” spark among her students the most. Currently an English teacher, she believes one of the most fulfilling aspects of her profession is being able to see her students engage in meaningful, insightful conversations. Bailey truly cherishes these moments, and would like to see more of them in the future.

“I hope that maybe down the road I can see more of those light bulb moments…I can see myself doing the reading pals programs, volunteering at the library…for me, literacy is such a door opener.” To Bailey, literacy among children can create so many opportunities. In the future, she hopes to possibly work with younger children, as she spent the entirety of her teaching career with middle school and high school students. The great thing about retirement is that there’s no set path to follow, so there are endless possibilities that lie ahead of her.

Bailey will also miss her collaboration with Stacia Morrissey and the sophomore English department’s annual Ashland trip. One of her favorite things about teaching here is the way students have made her laugh over the years. In her eyes, “the students that make your day make every moment worthwhile.” While Bailey will most certainly be missed by students and staff alike, she will always cherish her time at Pleasant Valley High School.

Jason Becker

Jason Becker has been teaching for about 32 years total, working first in the Santa Barbara area, later at Oroville High School, and most recently at PVHS After spending about 15 years here, Becker says he’ll miss the laughter and comical interactions with students the most.

In a humorous tone, he remarked, “those kids kept me young…I’ll have to find a way to keep in touch when I feel old.” When asked about his future plans, Becker didn’t really have an answer, but his main goal and motivation for retirement is the ability to take care of his parents.

Becker does have plans to travel when there are less restrictions. “My first overseas trip will most likely be to visit good friends in England, France and Germany. There are so many new places, people and cultures to discover… Chile, New Zealand, Sénégal, Madagascar, Austria, Greece… the list goes on…” said Becker.

“I feel so young to be retiring, but…with COVID and my parents, I think it’s best to do this for my family.” While before him there lies a path of uncertainty, Becker believes his decision is the right one, and hopes to move forward while still remaining connected to our students.

Lee-Anne Calhoon

When asked about what she’d miss the most about teaching at PVHS, Lee-Anne Calhoon said, “teaching life lessons. I believe it’s important that students graduate with life skills and values, and I feel as if that’s my purpose as a teacher…and here, I’m able to do it through Spanish.” To Calhoon, it’s most rewarding to instill morals, ethics, and Viking Values within her students, and she will deeply cherish her time at Pleasant Valley for the rest of her life.

She’ll also miss the companionship of the Spanish Department and the rest of the staff. There are so many instances where she has been shown great acts of kindness at PVHS, and is happy to acknowledge the support she’s received through every difficult circumstance. “I’ve been so blessed with people, especially people in my department.”

Students appreciate Calhoon for sharing her stories of adventure and travel, inspiring many of them to travel after high school. “I love learning about other cultures and doing missionary work-building homes in Mexico, working at orphanages, and painting a church in Ambato, Ecuador. Traveling forces you to do self-introspection and grow in ways you cannot do in an educational setting. Traveling makes you more understanding of the way other people live,” said Calhoon.

As for her retirement plan, Calhoon is most excited to prioritize her health and pursue gardening projects. “I’ve spent so many nights dedicated to my job, and as much as I love teaching, it’s taken a toll on my health…I hope that by giving more time to myself, I’ll be able to heal and feel better all around.”

Although she’s retiring at this point in time, her influence on campus is set to continue, as Calhoon would like to be a substitute in the future. While it’ll be strange not being able to see her students and colleagues every day, she still believes she’ll feel connected to PVHS well into her retirement. After all, she’ll keep in touch, and will remain an integral part of our school and city’s community for years to come. “I’ll still be around whenever you need me, but I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life.”

Be sure to wish PVHS’s beloved teachers well, supporting their transition into retirement. Here’s to new beginnings!