Within Greenwich High School, one would be hard-pressed to find a passionate student of English without ardent praise for teacher Anne Drake.
Senior Christine Kuesel, an editor with the Greenwitch literary magazine, fondly recalls Mrs. Drake’s tenure as a faculty advisor. Christine commented, “[Mrs. Drake] was open to new ideas and worked her hardest to make everyone feel included in working on the magazine. I feel honored to have worked with her on Greenwitch and I wish her the best in the future!”
Senior Ethan Polan, who enjoyed Mrs. Drake’s Honors English 213 class during his sophomore year, observed, “[Mrs. Drake] had a really strong connection with her students and definitely had an interest in their lives outside of the classroom.”
After her 14 years of teaching at Greenwich High, it might be difficult to imagine the GHS English Department without Mrs. Drake. Unfortunately, the Greenwich community will soon have to.
Mrs. Drake will be retiring at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
Asked the factors that motivated her decision, she commented, “My decision to retire is based on my desire to get back to competitive tennis while I am still young enough, and to sing more. I am in an all-women singing group . . . I also would like time to travel and be more available to my mother, who is getting on in years.”
She added that, as she readies herself to depart Greenwich High, she will greatly miss the students and adults with whom she has forged lasting bonds. “I will miss being around all kinds of students. I will miss their energy. Also, I have had the privilege of working with some great colleagues.”
Reflecting on her years at GHS, Mrs. Drake commented that one of her most fulfilling pursuits was her work with the Greenwitch literary magazine.
“There are many things I enjoy about the literary magazine,” she stated. “I love spending Monday afternoons with students who love writing and talking about writing. I love seeing an issue evolve and the writing and artistic talent that emerges in the process.”
Through the course of her career at Greenwich High, Mrs. Drake has had the opportunity to witness numerous key changes in education. One that particularly stands out to her is the increased presence of technology in the classroom.
She remarked, “Having a smart board is fantastic; on the other hand, the constant use of cell phones by students is an annoyance. In some regards, technology has made students more stimulated and offers more ways to engage with learning. In other ways, it tends to fragment the mind; many students are less able to think deeply and critically.”
It is undoubtedly true that the loss of such a figurehead in the English department will change Greenwich High School in coming years.
Aleksander Geske, a co-editor of the Greenwitch literary magazine and a former student of Mrs. Drake, states her impact best. “With all the intellectual opportunities she has given her students, Mrs. Drake’s long-term commitment to both the school and its afters programs attests to what a wonderful teacher she is and how much she has contributed to students’ growth as writers and achievers.”