Ms. Walsten is one among the seven teachers retiring from La Cañada High School this year. She has taught English at LCHS her entire 38-year teaching career and has loved every moment of it.
She was inspired to become a teacher by her third grade teacher Mrs. Hooker. Later on in her schooling, she was also influenced by her English teacher Ms. Woodward.
“I will miss the students that make me laugh everyday”, she said about what she will miss the most. She also stated that she will miss working with the staff and being a “star on your own stage.”
Like most of the teachers retiring this year Ms. Walsten was influenced by the School District’s Early Retirement Incentive (ERI), which would give retiring senior teachers 65% of their salary in addition to their pension. She said the incentive made “most of the difference.” Were it not for the incentive, Ms. Walsten had planned on teaching for one more year.
Now, with this slight change in plans, Ms. Walsten can begin working at her list of post-teaching activities. She plans to spend more time with her 99-year-old mother and serve the community through her church in Sierra Madre.
“I hope to get involved with a mission at my church that helps underprivileged children in Pasadena with their homework,” she said.
Ms. Walsten also looks forward to traveling, singing in her church choir, and continuing work on her beach romance novel.
Over the years, Ms. Walsten has built several strong friendships, which she sincerely values. From the teaching profession, she says she has gained “experience in helping others and a better understanding of the psychology of people.” This has made her more aware of herself.
If she weren’t a teacher she would have chosen a career as a librarian or a bookstore owner. Whatever her career choice, “it had to deal with books”, she said.