Bye Bye Banks

There are teachers, and then there are teachers who become a part of students’ lives in significant ways. The beginning of the school year was a bittersweet moment: Mrs. Banks was back to teach, but only for one semester. Considering finals are here, there is only a short amount of time to show her love in return for everything she’s done for this school.

Mrs. Banks began her teaching career by instructing fourth graders in Buffalo, New York, where she stayed for three years. She then moved on to Adelphian Academy where she taught physical education. Finally, she moved to Berrien Springs where she worked at Ruth Murdoch Elementary teaching kindergarten for seven years, and then fifth graders for another seven years. She eventually came to Andrews Academy where she has taught health, home economic and physical education classes for eight years.

Banks will be moving to Loma Linda, California, with her husband, John, who is starting a new job at Loma Linda Medical School.

During her time at Andrews Academy Mrs. Banks has not only taught, but created friendships with many students. Many of the students in her classes have made it clear that if it was up to them, she would delay her move to California until they all graduate. In fact, some of the students wanted to show their affection:

“Mrs. Banks is one of my favorite teachers. She is really awesome to talk to and always has a funny story to tell. Mrs. Banks keeps all of my classes interesting and a lot of fun with all of her rants on stupid shoes, John Banks, and people eating in “her” kitchen.  She is still one of the most loved teachers in this school,” said Brandon vonDorpowski, a junior at Andrews Academy.

“[I am going to miss] her laugh, silly comments, attitude, singing in classes.., well, mostly everything about her,” stated James Joo, a sophomore at Andrews Academy.

Sergio Francisco, a senior at Andrews Academy, smiled as he shared, “When I was a freshman, I remember I told her that I was going to be in her class next semester.  Her only response was ‘Don’t threaten me’. But it’s alright; we’re cool now!”

“A couple things I learned from Mrs. Banks are how to make a pie, the social food chain at AA, and also how to argue. I hope she has a fun time in California and learns what a beach is,” remarks Jeremy Faehner, a senior at Andrews Academy.

Although she is very excited for the big change and the company of her youngest daughter, Kirsten, Mrs. Banks is going to miss the friendships with the students the most. She will be spending her extra time working on her old Victorian house and laying by the pool, while her husband, John Banks, will be working as an anatomy professor at Loma Linda.

This week, Mrs. Banks has been giving her last few thoughts during chapel time, using the holiday classic The Christmas Story as an example. Not letting your pride get in the way, and keeping your eyes on the big picture are some of the life lessons she has shared, though she gives much more during her classes.

She’s a wonderful teacher and an even better friend.  Its safe to say that she will be missed by all.

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