by Eve Crandall
“Even if there were super cool robots for teachers who gave no homework and no tests, she would still be the best teacher ever.”
This statement from sophomore Abbie Painter epitomizes the feelings that many in the WHS community have about Italian Teacher Ms. Maria Santilli, who will be retiring this year after 25 years at the school.
Santilli began teaching at WHS in 1992 and her leadership has helped the Italian curriculum grow immensely over the past two decades. During her time at WHS, various levels and honors classes have been added to the Italian program to keep up with the increasing demand of students who love the language.
Throughout her years, Santilli has had the joy of watching many students in her classes discover their interest in Italian. “The moments that have touched me the most have been those in which students express their love for Italian class and are just so excited about learning,” she said.
“But even better is when that particular student who is there only for the graduation requirement and who has been struggling all year manages to present a project that makes you think ‘He gets it!’ ” she said. “Those are the moments that keep teachers going.”
Over the years, Santilli has impacted many students with her dedication and kindness. “What I’ll miss most about Profe is her capability to brighten my day every morning,” said Painter. “She is a teacher like no other; no one can ever replace Profe.”
Although Santilli will be missed by the WHS community, she is excited for the adventures that retirement will hold.