Miami Springs High School teacher retires after half a century

MIAMI SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - A teacher at Miami Springs High School is retiring after 50 years at the school.

Ms. Esther Gonzalez knows the bittersweet feeling of saying goodbye to her students at the end of the school year, but this time it’s her final goodbye.

“A few weeks and then it’s over 50 glorious years. Wonderful, wonderful years,” said Gonzalez.

She has not only been shaping the minds of students for generations, but she has been at Miami Springs High School throughout her entire career.

“At 20 years of age I was interning here, but they hired me, but they said, ‘You’re too young to hire, so when will you be 21?’ and I said, ‘July,’ and they said, ‘Come sign it on your birthday,’ and I came and signed my contract,” said Gonzalez.

She has been teaching language arts at the school since 1970.

“My son was in her class, my sister who is about as old as me now, she also was in her class,” said Miami Springs High School teacher Darryel Bethune.

She has witnessed former students transition to fellow colleagues.

“She’s tremendous. She’s outstanding. You always have someone in your life that reaches a certain part of you that makes you want to give back the same thing, so I came back home,” said Miami Springs High School teacher Craig Jey.

Current and former students can agree the passion Ms. Gonzalez has for teaching never died throughout the years.

“I believe she does leave an impact because she’s not like one of those basic teachers that just does writing and stuff like that; she actually gets into it,” said student Jasmine Mesa.

“She has to be one of my best reading teachers I’ve ever had. Certain things that they do, certain ways that they treat children definitely change how children act and behave in the future after they’re done in high school,” student Vincent Williams said.

In her honor, Miami Springs Senior High has created the Esther Gonzalez Award for English Excellence, which will be award to one graduating senior each school year: a novel of “The Count of Monte Cristo.”

“Every time that I taught that book the kids loved it,” said Gonzalez.

Although she will be leaving the high school, she will always be a fond memory to the thousands who had her as a teacher.

“A new book. This is a new book. This one closes and another one opens,” said Gonzalez.

She said the next chapter of her life will begin with a trip in just a few days.

Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.