Candice Hannani, feature editor
It is said that passion guides people’s actions, gives people their purpose in life and lasts a lifetime. Passion has certainly driven Dr. Raquel Ramsey’s teaching career, which has spanned 50 years, 21 of which were at Beverly.
Among other responsibilities, Ramsey currently manages the English Learner (EL) program as the EL coordinator. Her job requires her to teach English and social studies to students who have recently immigrated to America. While Ramsey admits that at times her job can be a challenge because of the countless languages spoken by the students, she claims that her students are very motivated to learn the new language.
“We use a lot of body language [to communicate]. Some of the students are here before class starts because they find a haven [within the classroom], because they feel that you are taking care of them and protecting them. They are so motivated to move on and learn this new language and become something in America,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey claims that her retirement is “bittersweet” because of her husband Edwin Ramsey’s recent death. Ramsey plans to write a book about her husband’s sister Nadine, who was involved with Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), teaching men how to fly military aircraft. Before that, however, she will be going to Arlington to partake in her husband’s funeral, who is listed in the military hall of fame and will be given full military honors at the funeral service. She also plans on working with the military during her retirement.
Through her dedicated teaching and unique, optimistic personality, Ramsey has left a lasting mark at Beverly and will be missed by students and faculty alike.
“She has educated, motivated, and inspired generations of students, helping them achieve their goals through discipline, dedication, and hard work. Her boundless energy and infectious smile have always had a way of lighting up the classroom. She is truly irreplaceable and will be missed by those who have had the privilege of working with her,” English teacher Sepideh Sedghi said.
Ramsey says that although she will miss many elements of her career, she will greatly miss the interaction with her students, many of whom visit her after graduating Beverly.
“Students write papers about immigration and biographies, and you see a lot of the child and the individual in them, and the interactions with the kids have been incredible. I learn so much from them because they share with me their experiences, and many of them come from countries like Syria, where people are dying, or Mexico, where they are now being persecuted by cartels. These children come from a lot of pain and then they come here, where they find new opportunities in life,” she said.
One of Ramsey’s favorite memories during her teaching career involves Global Village Week, which she directed for six consecutive years. The event included International Night, which included a variety of international foods and cultural dance performances, and an assembly, which included performances by a number of cultural clubs on campus and Madrigals.
Ramsey says that, above all, she has learned about the importance of encouragement and finding the inner self of each student. She also emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between discipline and understanding.
“It is so important for every teacher and every mentor to motivate a child and make them find themselves, and then from there challenge them to bigger and better heights,” Ramsey said. “That way, they reach their goals and are satisfied. As a mentor and teacher, you need to communicate, be honest and show discipline. You give them guidance, but you temper guidance with passion, love and understanding. You’ve got to be tough, but you got to be loving.”