With more than 60 years of combined service to CJ, Diana Barr and Linda Colas retired at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. Barr, an art teacher, had been at CJ for 29 years and Colas, a foreign languages teacher, had been at CJ for 32 years.
“I think anytime anyone retires with this amount of experience it’s bittersweet because the journey may not end, but it changes for everybody,” expressed Principal John Marshall ‘86.
Barr was the core of the fine arts department, Marshall said. During her time, Barr encouraged students to explore beyond their own expectations of artistic ability. She also stirred up excitement about local, state, and national recognition opportunities for students’ artwork. Throughout her years, several students earned honors on those levels for their submissions.
Barr also helped guide the art department through the outbreak of digital technology.
“She walked our photography class out of the dark room, literally, into the digital world,” said Marshall. He also noted Barr’s assistance with the on boarding of the K12 gallery partnership.
Marshall added, ‘”she has really been a caretaker of creativity at CJ in her tenure.”
Linda Colas will be most remembered as selfless, Marshall said. During her last year at CJ, Colas not only taught her traditional foreign language classes, but she also assisted with the Cuvilly program.
“She taught with the idea of always putting the student first,” affirmed Marshall.
Colas was gifted in teaching Spanish and was asked, after she started at CJ, to teach Latin. After instructing that class for several years, the Latin program has concluded with Colas’ retirement.
“It was very fitting that she walked with the foreign language department with the creation and the closeout of Latin,” Marshall said.
He continued, “Diana and Linda’s impact will stay with us even though they have left. Their footprints and fingerprints on this building will remain, similar to the many educators who came before them.”