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French Teacher says upcoming Paris trip will be her last with Stagg

French teacher Deborah Berg shared in an email to teachers that the next trip to Paris will officially be her last before her planned retirement within the next few years.

Berg, who has taught with Stagg for more than 34 years, has been traveling to Paris since 1995, guiding students for more than 30 trips. 

“[I feel] kind of bittersweet,” Berg said. “I’m happy to go. I’ve been traveling with my students for over thirty years and we have to go every other year, so in the next couple of years, I’ll retire,” Berg said. “That’s my goal. So it’s kind of bittersweet, but I’m happy to go.¨ 

Looking back, Berg’s first trip was memorable. “On that trip, I actually took the students and we stayed with host families. I got to know Paris well, that year.¨ Berg said.

Berg said that it feels kind of “scary” to retire soon. “It’s like, ‘what am I going to do, if I’m not coming here every day?´ It’s kind of hard to say that I won’t be working with the students anymore, but eventually it’s going to be time to move on, into another career in my life, probably,¨ Berg said.

Jocelyne Guerrero-Saldana sits in her class, the background displaying illustrations of France. Gurerrero-Saldana will continue to take students to Paris trips, even when Deborah Berg retires. (Alona Chanloeun / Stagg Online)

Jocelyne Guerrero-Saldana is another French teacher who has been teaching for four years. She grew close with Berg, and said she was like her mentor. She shared her initial thoughts about Berg´s impending retirement.

“When I first heard it, I was pretty sad to hear that she was going to leave after that,” Guerrero-Saldana said. “She brings a lot of expertise and experience to the trip. She has a lot of knowledge and it’s fun traveling with her, and she’ll be missed in the future trips.¨

Guerrero-Saldana also said that Berg had made a huge impact on her years of teaching, “I would say, I have learned a lot from her. She was my mentor teacher, she really guided me during my first couple of years as a teacher, in terms of how you teach and interact with a student and she really had added overall knowledge of French.¨

A favorite moment she had with Berg during the Paris trips, which is the students being to see the French monuments, learning more about the history of French. Guerrero-Saldana plans to continue going to Paris trips, to allow that opportunity for others in the future.

Junior, Adriann Navarrete happily smiles for the picture. Navarrete has been taking French with Deborah Berg since freshman year, now going to be taking French IIII with Berg. (Alona Chanloeun)


Adriann Navarrete, a Junior, who has been one of Berg´s French students, will soon be taking French IIII with Berg, and have heard from Berg that she may retire in the next few years.

“[Ms. Berg’s] probably done,” Navarrette said. “She said she’s also working on her house. She mentioned that she wanted to travel alone,” 

One of Navarrete’s favorite moments with Berg during the Paris trips was when they “ditched the rest of the group to go to the Eiffel Tower.” , since there wasn´t enough time during the trip. ¨I went with Ms. Berg, since she went and saw it like thirty times, it was enjoyable.¨ 

Berg revealed some of her plans after she retires, ¨I´ll probably work more with my church, I might go back to school and learn more languages, and maybe I’ll come back and continue to work in Stagg, subbing there.¨ Berg concludes.

Berg has enjoyed traveling and shared that she wanted to travel since she was young, and after retirement wants to continue traveling on her own or with adult groups when she retires. ¨I´ve always wanted to travel, since I was a little kid, that was my goal. I don´t live in a big house or drive in a fancy car, but I like to travel and when I retire, one of these days, I´m gonna travel more.¨

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