After 30 years of laying down the law at Manatee High School regarding the rules and requirements of the spoken and written word, veteran English teacher Sandra Law is retiring.
"I have known Mrs. Law for 30 years. We came to Manatee together. I am going to miss her organizational skills, because if you want something done, she can always help you get the job done," said Kay Gaines.
From directing plays and teaching English in a small Indiana town to helping create an educational foundation for one of the largest and most well-respected high schools in Florida, Law made an impact on the futures of thousands of students.
Junior Liz Hunt, a former student, said: "I am so sad Mrs. Law is leaving. Time seems to have flown by."
MHS seniors have fond memories of Law, too.
"I remember when I was a freshman and walking into Mrs. Law's class. I was nervous on my first day, but right when I walked into Mrs. Law's room she made me feel welcomed, which helped calm my nerves. She helped make the year fun," said senior Olivia Sousa.
Law entered the field of education in 1969 at the age of 21. She chose teaching because she loved going to school and learning.
She started her career as a drama director in charge of the senior class play. In 1983, she moved to Manatee County and began a long and productive journey as a world literature teacher at Manatee High School.
During her years of teaching, she accomplished much outside her own classroom by helping with numerous clubs and student organizations.
In 1990, she was elected Teacher of the Year by MHS faculty. She was the MHS Student Council adviser 14 years, helped start what is now the AP+ Program, and advised the yearbook for several years.
Law in the last few years worked closely with Emma Foy and Amy Sams in the
English Department. Her long list of friends dates to her first year of teaching at MHS.
While students and faculty will miss her, freshmen such as Callee Sandberg say Law's lessons will continue to influence and inspire former students for years to come.
"She has taught me so many things about grammar and literature. I feel like I am better prepared for the rest of what high school has to offer me because of her class," said Sandberg. "The great lessons over remembering capitalization and new vocabulary words have improved my writing skills tremendously."
Law said she is going to miss teaching the students as well.
"I am going to miss the daily challenges," Law said. "However, I look forward to the freedom to do what I want: my schedule, my rules and my preferences."
As the last quarter of her teaching career draws to a close, Law shared an inspirational quote by former National Football League quarterback Drew Bledsoe that she said best summed up her impending retirement: "I retire with a smile on my face, in good health, and ready to spend autumns at my kids' games instead of my own."
Reporter's note: Farewell Mrs. Law. You may be gone from our campus, but you will always be in our hearts and the evidence of your work will remain in our essays.