Multiple teachers set to retire

Six staff members are leaving AHS at the end of the year


Three teachers are retiring at the end of the year; Marcia Bellamy, Jonathan York, and Joe Valentino. Three teachers are also leaving AHS to continue their careers elsewhere; Caitlyn Hughes, Meagan Padgett, and Nikki Worrell.

As the school year comes to an end, many teachers are wishing Annandale farewell as they begin the new chapters of their lives by retiring.
History teacher Jonathan York, history teacher Joe Valentino, science teacher Marcia Bellamy, English teacher Caitlyn Hughes, librarian Meagen Padget, and special education teacher Nikki Worrell are all bidding their good-byes to Annandale at the end of this school year.
York, Valentino, and Bellamy are all retiring, while Hughes, Padgett, and Worrell are continuing their career in different schools.
York has been at Annandale High School for 26 years and has created a great deal of memories.
“My favorite memories would be giving the commencement speech at DAR, and most importantly, my daily lunches with the social studies department. We had so much fun together,” York said.
York looks forward to not having to stress over school work and go fishing wherever he wants.
One thing he will miss about Annandale is having fun in the classroom while working with students.
Valentino has spent 25 years teaching at Annandale. Some of his favorite memories come from being in student/teacher theatre productions like “Laugh-In” and “The Sound of Music.”
“I am looking forward to not having to do all the cumbersome yet crucial administrative or bookkeeping tasks. They take you away from actual teaching which I so enjoyed,” Valentino said.
One thing Valentino will miss about teaching at Annandale is the atmosphere of the school.
“The camaraderie of the social studies teachers was always supportive and enjoyable. Just as enjoyable was the engagement of students in class-the give and take, the questions and answers, and the pupil excitement of simulations of events like the French Revolution or the Chinese Cultural Revolution,” Valentino said.
Bellamy will also be parting ways with Annandale this year.
Bellamy has been working at Annandale High School since 2012, but she began working in Fairfax County in 2000 at Falls Church High School.
Some of her favorite memories center around lab activities in her biology and anatomy classes.
“While teaching about STEM cells I use the tiny flatworms: planaria…their whole body is full of regenerative cells. When you cut one worm in three pieces you get three new worms! The second is taking my human anatomy classes to INOVA Hospital Cardiac Dome to view open heart surgery, and hosting the last Red-Cross Blood Mobile at AHS, where we almost broke records in collections. We were determined to do so in the Spring of 202 then Quarantine happened!” Bellamy said.
Bellamy looks forward to sleeping late, sitting on her back porch in North Carolina and sipping sweet tea.
One thing Bellamy will miss about teaching at Annandale is seeing all of her students.
“The students! I remember the ‘pre-pandemic days’, standing at my doorway, greeting everyone that walked by, surprising many unsuspecting students with a “good morning” and expecting a response!” Bellamy said. “Also, I will miss staying late and arriving early to my classroom and getting to know the awesome Custodial staff!”
Hughes has been teaching at AHS for one year. She came to AHS from the JMU graduate program. She will be moving to Fort Polk, Louisiana because her husband is stationed there with the army.
Padgett will be leaving to take a library position at Independence HS in Loudon County.
Lastly, Worrell is leaving AHS to teach at a school in Fort Benning, Georgia. Her husband is in the military and was recently stationed there.