English teacher Cynthia Wald-Barry made the unforeseen decision to resign from her position at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School before the conclusion of the fall semester.
Last year, Barry moved to Colorado but continued teaching DPMHS students remotely for over six months.
She wasn’t planning to leave DPMHS until her husband received a job offer that took them to Colorado beginning the middle of the Fall 2020 semester. At that point the district allowed her to keep teaching remotely while in Colorado and she anticipated that she could at least finish the fall semester. LAUSD pivoted to hybrid learning for high schools beginning the week of April 26 and all teachers, without documented health concerns, were prevented from continuing their teaching remotely. Consequently, for Barry to continue teaching at DPMHS, she would have to return to California and be present at the DPMHS campus.
“I considered returning to finish the semester but this would be too difficult on my family and, especially, my young son,” said Barry, who has a toddler.
The situation for Barry’s former students has now been officially arranged. A long-term substitute Michelle Huitink is confirmed to teach in place of Barry for the remainder of the spring semester. Barry expects her departure to be easiest on the juniors who were only her students for less than a year and most difficult for the seniors who she had for almost two years. She anticipates that the timing of her resignation will be challenging for her Advanced Placement Language class who are taking their exams in May. However, she is comforted knowing that they concluded reviewing all sections of the exam before her resignation.
“I’d like to thank her for being there for us through everything this school year,” senior AP Lang student Samantha Mills said. “I think Ms. Barry prepared us as well as she could. With a little bit more practice we will all be ready for the exam. I wish her luck in Colorado and I’m happy for her and her family.”
Barry first taught at DPMHS beginning the 2015 fall semester where she remained teaching for five years until her final day on April 23.
She used the word ‘adventure’ when asked to describe her overall experience at DPMHS.
“It’s truly been a wonderful experience and I consider myself lucky to have interacted and learned from each of our administrators, colleagues and students during the time I have been at DPMHS,” Barry said. “My DPMHS experiences will stay with me wherever the tide takes me.”
Barry left a final message intended for all DPMHS students.
“Thank you. Thank you for all of the effort and thoughtfulness you have put into your work, especially during the pandemic,” Barry said. “Thank you for your flexibility, resiliency and understanding. I’m sorry that I am leaving before the end of the year and that I won’t be able to see you or even meet some of you, in person. Please know that I did not want it to be this way and I will miss working with you all. I wish you all the best and hope you finish this school year strong. I’ll be keeping tabs on you through my colleagues. Stay strong and reach for your goals.”