Students and faculty regroup after teacher resigns


“She was pretty much the best teacher I had because she taught us life lessons. She really brought out the creativity in us.” – Francesca Sebastian

Molly Wade, Co- Web Editor

On August 27, 2012, AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature students came into their class to find a substitute teacher, saying that their intended teacher, Lorrie Button-Edelson, was absent.  Students previously enrolled in Button-Edelson’s classes noticed something was wrong. The room was bare, empty compared to the classroom that was filled with decorative posters and flags the year before.

After a week of instruction with a substitute teacher, Principal James Cross visited each class telling the students that Button-Edelson had resigned for health reasons, and would not be returning to her classes. The real problem that faced administrators was finding a new teacher who was qualified for the job.

“Mrs. Button-Edelson will be missed and it is never a good time to be replacing a teacher,” Cross said. “The first thing you  have to think about is that a spot is open and you have to decide, because it is the start of school, who can you find out there and looking at your people from within to see who can step in. You look at their experience, expertise and who is a fit from a standpoint of what they bring to the table.”

Perla De Castro-Herz was chosen to assume these classes because she had previous experience when she worked as a Spanish teacher in New Zealand and Aldine ISD. She previously taught Spanish Levels I, II, and III.

“I felt like when I arrived in Katy ISD, I was teaching the lower levels again, so I had to pay my dues for five years teaching Spanish I, II and III,” De Castro said. “Of course, I love teaching the higher levels because there is a lot of gratification in seeing the students become bilingual. That is when you realize what your job is about.”

The students’ schedules were not switched around but the teachers were. The administration did not want to change the schedules again, because it would have caused conflicts with other classes. It concerned De Castro that her students were left without a teacher.

“I had already established myself for a week with them. They knew who their teacher was going to be and you consider them to be your students for the year,” De Castro said.

Several students dropped AP Spanish Literature because they had expected Button-Edelson to be teaching the class. According to senior Francesca Sebastian, many students were not comfortable with the sudden change.

“I didn’t want to be put in a position where the class I was in was just going to be me and they would have to move me out anyway into a different class or a study hall where I wouldn’t really learn anything,” Sebastian said.

Even though the change was so sudden and she knows that she is coming in to replace a well-liked teacher, De Castro says she is ready for the challenge. But she wishes that she could have prepared over the summer.

“It is the kids who knew her and already had her, those are the ones I think about,” Cross said. “And if they had a really good relationship and liked her then I feel sad for those students and that they are in that situation. Anytime you lose a teacher like that, it is never a good thing.”