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Lorianne has taught middle school ELA for over twenty years.  I have taught sixth, seventh, and eighth grades at all levels.  My favorite thing about middle school is the magic of watching people come into our building as children and come out grown!  

by: Lorianne Palinkas

When you told me that my starting salary would be much lower than my classmates who went into the private sector, I stayed.

When terrorists struck on 9/11, and our school community was reeling with shock and grief, and you asked me to guide my students through it when I was in my second year and barely an adult myself, I stayed.

When the budgets were slashed, and we were expected to pay for all of our classroom supplies from our own pockets, I stayed.

When Hurricane Sandy flooded our community and destroyed our students’ homes, and you asked me to donate time and supplies, drive through ruined streets to check on our students, and bring warm clothes and flashlights to work in a building with no power, I stayed.

When one of our own teachers passed away, and you asked me to stay with the kids and help them learn to grieve, fighting back my own tears, I stayed.

When the tragedies at Sandy Hook and Parkland occurred, and you asked if I would be willing and ready to act as a human shield for my students, I stayed.

When the curriculum constantly changed, and we were forced to spend countless hours working after work hours, I stayed.

When COVID-19 insidiously invaded our buildings, and we were forced to become a completely remote school overnight, I stayed.

But it took a global pandemic for me to realize that when you asked me to put the health, safety, and well-being of myself and my family aside for this job, that is what you’ve been doing all along. So I left.

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