English teachers Sharp and Baer transfer schools

English teachers Dejanae Sharp and Ron Baer are not returning for the upcoming 2022-23 school year, causing turnover of the school’s entire English department. 

“One of the seniors came in and asked me to sign his yearbook and he told me I really inspired him,” Sharp said. “I hope that’s the thing that my students remember the most about me once I leave.”

This is Sharp’s first and last year at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS), during which she taught AP English Language, 12th grade English, 10th grade honors English and 10th grade English. She is transferring to Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences (VAAS), where she will teach Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum to seniors, run a freshman advisory and potentially teach African-American Literature or another English elective. Sharp said she is leaving because she will have the opportunity to work with some former colleagues and grow as a teacher at VAAS.

“I really enjoyed the discussions we would have in AP (English) Language,” Sharp said. “I really enjoyed reading Hamlet with the 12th graders. Charlie (Karimov) always read the play with a terrible British accent that made everyone laugh. It was a good year getting to know everyone.”

English teacher Ron Baer, who has taught at DPMHS for over five years, will be moving his role to Kennedy High School this fall. Baer has loved his time at DPMHS. However, the small school environment is something he wants to get away from for the six years he has left before retirement. 

“I feel the need to be at a big school,” Baer said. “I feel like what’s missing from my professional life is collaborating with others and having an English department. I’m very much a life-long learner and I need to grow as a person.”

Baer is looking forward to getting to work at a big school. Working with a whole English department is something that has been impossible at DPMHS because it’s so small. But regardless of all the drawbacks working at a small school has, Baer will be able to look back at his years here with fondness.

“There have been so many good student memories and students that I will never forget who have meant so much to me,” Baer said. 

Both teachers’ positions have been filled for the fall. Baer and Sharp have brought a lot to the school while they’ve been here and the change is bound to be noticeable.

“My time at Daniel Pearl I enjoyed,” Baer said. “I enjoyed it a lot. I enjoyed students’ writing and hearing students’ thoughts in seminars. I love that for a small school there is such a strong sense of community.”