By Hannah Chatellier
Art by Emily Smith
This past semester, Neva Bowers, Josie Walker, Mary Bell, and Marisa Smalley all announced that they will be parting ways with SMS. All four teachers have served the school and its students diligently and with care.
Neva Bowers has been teaching French at SMS for six years. This year she announced that she will be attending business school at the University of California Berkeley. Madame Bowers said, “Business school has always been in the back of my mind, but just recently I got up the courage to pursue it.”
In this next phase of her life, Madame Bowers hopes to solve real world problems for large companies and use her influence on a much larger scale. Madame Bowers said, “Someone [once] said they were working in design thinking and people operations, and it just sounded right.” Shortly after hearing those words, Bowers applied to Duke, University of North Carolina, University of Texas, Yale, University of Washington and University of California Berkeley. Although it was a tough choice, Madame Bowers has decided to matriculate at the University of California Berkeley and looks forward to living in California with her two dogs and new fiance.
Josie Walker has been teaching Spanish at St. Mary’s for 37 years. After the birth of her second granddaughter, Señora Walker wants to devote her full attention to her family, which also includes another beautiful three year-old granddaughter.
Being a St. Mary’s alumna alongside her daughter, Señora Walker is elated that her granddaughters are both turkeys. Although Señora Walker will no longer be teaching at St. Mary's, her visits will not stop, as she will be driving her granddaughter to school. Walker said, “I've spent 47 years on this campus, and I feel like my car will drive itself here when I go anywhere.” Along with looking forward to being her granddaughters’ chauffeur, Walker said “I’m also looking forward to dusting off my medical interpreting certificate to help out at LeBonheur, St. Jude or medical missions in the future.”
Mary Bell has been teaching French at St. Mary’s for 20 years and recently announced that she will be leaving in order to pursue one of her preceding passions: art therapy. In order to finish her certification as an Art Therapist and Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Madame Bell will spend a year as an intern at Hope House Memphis, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of life for individuals and families affected specifically by HIV.
In college, Madame Bell majored in art. In her teaching years, she lost touch with her artistic side, but luckily, she rediscovered her passion for the arts and its medicinal impact. Madame Bell said, “Several years ago, I returned to the studio in my free time and started creating art again and found it very therapeutic.” After some research, she found the Hope House Memphis.
Marisa Smalley has been teaching Spanish at St.Mary’s for 23 years but has decided to retire this year. Señora Smalley said that, “It is important to retire when you have the energy and health to travel, enjoy life and work in the garden, which is one of my favorite things to do.” The 2021 recipient of the Apple Award decided to kickstart her retirement by traveling. She will be visiting her family in Argentina sometime between December and March, so she’s there for the summer.
Señora Smalley will miss SMS, but she promises not to be a stranger. Most of all, she expressed how grateful she was for the special relationships she’s been able to prosper with her students.
We wish these teachers well in their future endeavours.
For & By Students
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