Many of you may have noticed Mary Jane's absence recently. Mary Jane has been a fixture at Kino for decades, first as a Homeroom Teacher, then the Director, and most recently as the Primary Language Arts teacher. Unfortunately, due to health issues, Mary Jane will be unable to return as the Primary Language Arts teacher this year. She wrote this message for the community:
I had planned to fully retire at the end of this year, but, due to a health crisis, I will have to retire now. I have loved every minute of my 47 years teaching. The youngest students have filled my life with laughter and joy. Watching all of the students care for each other and the community has been a gift. I have worked with the most talented and compassionate teachers to be found anywhere. I have met generations of parents who have trusted the teachers and supported their children. Being a Kino teacher and part of this extraordinary community has truly been a blessing.
This week the Primary kids went to visit Mary Jane. She talked to them about not returning. She showed them a book called Prickly Pear by Jen Tucker (a friend of Kassia's!). They also shared books they wrote with her, had ice cream, and played with her (terrified) cats. We know the Primary kids all miss her, and we plan to visit once a month. We also hope she'll still be able to come in and volunteer when she's feeling well enough.
Lyra Rahner, Cezanne's sister and a former Kino student, will be taking over for Mary Jane until the end of the year. Lyra graduated from the University of Arizona in 2022 with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She has been a Kino Aftercare teacher, and currently she's been subbing for us when she isn't working at Laboratory of Tree Ring Research. Lyra will be working with Mary Jane to make the Primary lesson plans, and despite the sad circumstances, she's excited to work with our wonderful Primary kiddos.
It is hard to imagine Kino without Mary Jane. Kino has been lucky to have had such a dedicated, passionate leader and teacher. Kino wouldn't have been Kino without her! Thank you for all your years of hard work Mary Jane. You'll be missed.