After spending 16 years at MVHS, 32 years in FUHSD, and a cumulative 40 years in the educational sector, former special education teacher and current library media teacher Mary Ann Bouchard will retire this school year.
Bouchard began her pedagogical career in 1971 as a fourth grade instructor in Santa Cruz. In 1979, she joined FUHSD at Cupertino High School, and in 1983 found herself at Fremont High School. Sixteen years later, the educator arrived at MVHS.
“I liked the school. I liked the people at the school,” Bouchard said. “I wanted to work with them.”
Upon joining the staff, Bouchard took up the post of special education teacher, helping her pupils cope with their core classes. Although currently library media teacher, she has spent the majority of her time at this school working with the special education department.
“Special education [has] a wonderful staff, and everybody helps everybody,” Bouchard said. “We share ideas, help people cover for each other. It’s a very collaborative department.”
Special education day-class teacher Daniel Caulfield, an eight-year co-worker of Bouchard, reciprocated praise.
“She just made it a much more pleasant and warm place to work,” Caulfield said. “When I was brand new, I just cannot tell you how much I appreciated how helpful she was. Whenever I had a question about policy or procedure or computers, I always went to her first.”
After working in the special education department for 14 years, Bouchard decided in June 2009 to transition into her contemporary post of library media teacher.
“I always wanted to be a librarian. It was sort of my dream job,” Bouchard said. “And I taught special education for 30 years in this district… It was fun to try something different.”
As librarian, Bouchard has learned a variety of new skills, particularly those related to technology. In addition to carrying out traditional librarian duties, she provides technological orientations to students on virtual resources provided by the school.
Library media specialist Jody Mitchell, who has worked with Bouchard for two years, emphasized her co-worker’s admirable work ethic.
“When I see her work one-on-one, I see passion,” Mitchell said. “She’s really enjoying what she’s doing.”
According to Mitchell, over the past two years, the two have developed a friendship rooted in similar hobbies, such as jewelry-making. Bouchard plans to pursue such hobbies in her retirement; she wants to spend her time volunteering for adult literacy work, creating crafts, and traveling.
During her time here, Bouchard says she has witnessed the school evolve into a much larger, busier place than it initially was. Nonetheless, she believes that teachers have withstood the test of time, remaining helpful and dedicated. According to Caufield, such qualities are present in Bouchard herself.
“We will miss her greatly,” Caulfield said. “[MVHS] is losing a really wonderful and valuable resource.”