Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Samohi English Teacher Berkeley Blatz Announces Retirement After 41 Years

 

Berkeley Blatz

After a 41-year career at Santa Monica High School, English teacher Berkeley Blatz announced his retirement on June 10. He lists a lack of energy and new curriculum ideas, as well as the fight against cheating and not having enough personal time as reasons for leaving.

"I've decided to pass the torch into more energetic hands," Blatz said in an email to his colleagues. "Being able to share great literature with young minds and hearts has made these years a privilege."

Incoming Samohi Senior and former student Dorothy DeBiasse was disappointed when she found out that Blatz would be leaving. According to her, his individuality is something that will be dearly missed.

"Since he was there for over 40 years, he was unlike any of the other teacher," DeBiasse said. "His older techniques and styles of teaching made the class a unique experience."

Blatz was a former student at Samohi in the 1960s, being a part of the tennis team, theater and various other organizations. After studying at Stanford, he came back to the school to teach, and introduced many clubs, classes and creative contributions to the campus, such as the Ballroom Dance Club and the "Superbowl", where juniors compete against each other in a game of charades.

"'I'm hoping that someone will step up to continue the Ballroom Dance Club (1979), the Thematic Garden, and maybe even start up a new German program," Blatz said.

In his email to faculty members, he discussed his future plans, such as teaching Latin at Saint Monica High School and teaching Law at Southwestern Law School. He also plans on continuing his involvement in jazz duos and completing his tour through Santa Monica. He also discussed the past in an additional email, bringing up memories with fellow teachers and special moments at Samohi.

"[I remember] looking out my northside windows at the incredible eucalyptus trees and the distant mountains," Blatz said, "Daydreaming about taking a hike and saluting Samohi from the trail. There are many other moments of delight I could share, but the trail and the queen of the setting sun beckon. Farewell!"

 
 

Reader Comments
(1)

bartplaskoff writes:

Berkeley Blatz is a man I will be forwver in debted to! This man helped enrich my kife in so many ways! I wish him nothing but the very best! Mr. Blatz, thank you forever from my heart! Cheers :) Bart E. Plaskoff, M.Ed., MSW, EMDR Registered Clinical Social Work Intern

 
 
 

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