In 2008, San Juan High School was coming out of a redesign. That same year Ms. deFer stepped onto its grounds for the first time. Her association with the school has spanned an incredible 16 years making her one of the longest-standing teachers at the school.
When she first came to San Juan, for the subsequent seven years she became an integral part of our community. But like all stories filled with adventure, hers took a turn in 2015, leading her to the heart of Peru. Four enriching years were spent teaching there before she returned to San Juan once again in 2019.
Connected intimately with the graduating seniors, she reflects, “I feel really attached to this class, I’ll never forget them…” Her journey mirrors theirs in many ways. The similarity between her departure in 2015 and now in 2024 brings about a feeling of déjà vu for deFer. This Senior class is the second class she has been able to spend multiple years with starting in 10th grade. Three years consecutively marked by shared experiences, challenges, and growth.
Perhaps it’s the spirit of unity and overcoming adversity that binds us together. As she fondly says, “That’s all I can say, I just love you guys…” A sentiment that’s deeply felt and reciprocated.
Her dedication to San Juan’s seniors is evident. Not just for the sake of memories or the mark of a year, but a recognition of their shared challenges. “I wanted to make sure you had a really good senior year… I also feel like you guys went through a lot…not just the pandemic but all the struggles last year that our school went through.”
Driven by an unwavering commitment, she firmly
believes in the power of unity, especially after facing struggle. Emphasizing, “I just felt like we needed to come together and make it an awesome final year for you… I felt like I was one of the best people to do that.”
It’s evident that her endeavors this year are not just responsibilities or tasks, they are acts of love. Acts that brought joy not just to the students but to her heart as well. She says doing this for the senior class and the school truly makes her heart happy.
In a world full of uncertainty, it’s reassuring to know that love and dedication prevail. Here’s to the journey of a remarkable teacher, and to an amazing Senior year!