Leaving with a smile

After exposing her students to the history of the world, teacher now plans on traveling around it


It’s hard to leave a passion, but most notably, it’s hard to leave a job that gives back. This year, three employees will retire, leaving holes in the heart of the school. Social Studies Department Chair Audrey Weir-Graham is a teacher who will leave this campus with a smile on her face, knowing that her time spent was an unforgettable experience.
Weir-Graham surpassed her 25 year teaching goal. Before Stagg she taught for four years at private schools in Indiana and Michigan.
“Without teaching full-time, I now have more flexibility,” she said. The history teacher now looks forward to “traveling with (her) husband,” and seeing the places depicted in the textbooks she taught from. As a world history teacher, Weir-Graham’s passion for learning enlarges the appetite of her hungry mind.
Weir-Graham famously opens her classroom with “Good morning, scholars.” Sophomore honor student Aziz Akhtar sits and waits to write his notes. “It’s different,” he said. “She implements different (activities) into the classroom. Her notebook adds our knowledge into the subject of what we are learning, I’m going to miss her class, it was a great experience.”
From the start of the class, Weir-Graham keeps the “scholars” on their toes with quotes from prominent people in the textbook. To make things more interesting she asks for a student perspective on the quote. The energized teacher isn’t afraid to showcase her students’ excellence. She acknowledges students’ accomplishments by giving butterscotch to encourage initiative.
Butter scotches are just one of her small teaching strategies to keep the students motivated, an iconic symbol for any of her previous students. Weir-Graham uses several teaching methods.
“It taught me a lot… not just world history wise but organizing myself for the future as well,” senior Paola Rico said. Rico is grateful to have taken Weir-Graham’s class. “I feel like (students will) miss out in a lot of learning that they could have gotten from her. Not just academically but personally.” Many students as well as Akhtar and Rico are saddened to see Weir-Graham retire.
She requires her students to give back to the community, and retirement won’t be the end of her service hours.
“Service is a very important part of my life.” Weir-Graham will be joining a hunger program. Community service is just one of the small extra curricular activities that Weir-Graham involves and encourages her students to participate in.
Retirement won’t be the complete end of her teaching career. She hopes to bring the same enthusiasm to a literary program in Stockton to adults who want to read. Though retirement won’t be the cruise ship life that most people think of, Weir-Graham plans to make the most of it. She plans on joining a walking club that takes treks to local places and around California.
Weir-Graham’s passion broadened the minds of her students, and her influence brought inspiration to many previous students. “I’m going to miss the kids,” Weir-Graham said “I can say that teaching has been a very emotional, rewarding experience for me.”