Farewell to Soliz and Emana
By Matt Frey
It is happening, the world is ending! Or maybe not, but certain Novato High teachers, regarded by students as two of the best, are leaving NHS. Without these wonderful teachers, a drought of liveliness and happiness may cloud next year's school year. Although, Spanish teacher, Randall Soliz and math teacher, K Starr Emana are leaving, they both have painted NHS’s culture in a way that today's average teacher usually cannot in a million years. The influence of Emanatheism and Soliziology has changed Novato forever.
It is hard to read this and not break into tears, mostly because Emana has taught nine graduating classes, and has actually managed to make it cool to learn about the circumference of a circle!
Soliz is very similar, bringing in a great drive to make sure every student gets what they need, the standout Spanish teacher enlightens classrooms by sharing his awesome experiences in foreign countries. It is sad because it is hard for districts to find teachers that can both teach and inspire.
A mother, a teacher, and an educational advocate, Emana has been known to be a goddess. This is where the belief in one great teacher, Emanatheism, comes in. Emana, a star teacher, says it in her name, will not just be missed but honorably discussed in future years. She plans to leave after this semester and start a new career in training and fitness.
“It has been nine years, that's the entire life of my youngest child. I am leaving Novato with mixed feelings. I love this school and its students, however I need a change and more movement in my day since I'm not getting any younger. I will start a new career in training and body work. Yoga, pilates, and nutrition here I come,” said Emana. “Students, if you are looking for a trainer, look me up. I hope to be a resource to you in a new way. Stay Classy Novato, I will miss you.”
Emana also added in that, “Everyone should keep a open mind about math and your abilities. All of you are capable of learning. Keep creating. Your artwork, the music, and plays have been amazing. My all-time favorite play was "Blown Away". Continue to be open and kind to everyone, I'm always bragging about how wonderful the students are at NHS. ”
Dominic Kalfos, Novato High School junior, spoke about Emana.
“Mrs. Emana is kind and respectful,” Kalfos said. “She is always trying to keep her students eager about learning math. I can gladly say that she is more than a teacher to me; she is my friend. I can always go to her with any problem. Everybody should just be like Mrs. Emana. She will truly be missed next year.”
Kalfos stated that the relationship between Emana and the classroom is totally different. She has a positive impact on every student, especially assisting with issues outside of the classroom.
Emana recalls that her most memorable moments have been the relationships with her students and all of the therapy sessions she has gone through with them. She has enjoyed baking treats for her geometry classes and the sharing of Starbucks with her students during lunch tutorials. She will miss those times the most.
Soliz just brings every aspect of a classroom together. He fills classrooms with positivity and guarantees a productive learning experience for all. Always ahead of the game, Soliz dominates in teaching a foreign language. To see Soliz in a daze or in a bad mood is extremely rare. Farewells like these are only given to teachers who are special and prized, where the lessons and knowledge transferred from their approach is meaningful. The reason school is so much fun is because of teachers like Emana and Soliz. Whatever type of student you are, Emana and Soliz can polish your strong suits and help improve your weaknesses.
2017 teacher of the year, a two time best-dressed teacher and student favorite, Soliz talked about his journey and elaborated on future plans.
“I am finally saying adios to my Novato familia. I am really going to miss this school, most of the people that work here, and my pencil sharpener, but most of all, I'm going to miss my students,” said Soliz. “I have been telling people that the reason I am leaving is to go to Florida to be near my ten-year old daughter, however, I am actually going to finally follow my dream of tracking down Bigfoot in the northern forests of Alaska. I hope to achieve this goal before June of 2021 because I am one of 100 people that were chosen to go on a one-way trip to colonize Mars. I have always been fascinated by that place and hope to be the first person to eat tacos there. If the Mars thing doesn't take off, I would love to open a vegetarian burrito shack by the beach north of Miami. That said, I hope to eventually come back to California and work as a school administrator.”
Soliz also had some final words of wisdom to the students of NHS.
“Perspective is everything...the wisest thing to understand is that you know nothing. Find what makes you happy and do it, try not to always be in a hurry, be kind, love yourself, don't take anything for granted. Don't be afraid to change; eat a lot of tacos or burritos.”
Soliz’s opening statement just gives readers a gist of how creative and fun our teachers can be here at NHS. On the real value of education, adults, through teenager’s eyes, are just a bunch of older versions of them but with “knowledge”. Like Soliz said, although you do not know anything, if you want something, go get it. Period. Soliz is what the elephant left on showground, nothing less than an intellectual.
NHS has had the best of Soliz and Emana. The Swarm hopes that Soliz and Emana continue brightening lives, whether that's on Mars or in the gym. The Swarm wishes Emana and Soliz the best and hope the future suits them well.