Simply the best; retires


Jocelyn Leal, Editor-in-Chief

This year is the end of an era due to the retirement of the long-time beloved teacher Ms. Zalo, a trusted and hard-working faculty member. Ms. Zalo has worked at Manatee as a biology, AP biology, and AP environmental science teacher for 33 years and is also one of the many teachers on campus who are an alumni as well. She has one of the highest pass rates and has been involved in the science fair, pushing her students to do their best.

“She’s just supported me throughout science fair even when she wasn’t my primary science teacher, she was still the person that helped me through my science project. Every question I had I knew she was there not only to satisfy me with an answer but like to make sure I truly understood what I was asking. She really likes to see her students do well and gets really excited which is super motivating,” said senior Emma Johnston who is majoring in biology in college because of inspiration from Ms. Zalo.

Students of Ms. Zalo do not achieve their high scores for nothing. She gets them prepared throughout the year with review games like Duo Di, which is a game that she created herself to keep students engaged, before every test, followed by a rigorous and extensive review of all the units before exams. She also sees tests as a way to help students learn, and not just about assessing them. After every test, students do corrections to see what questions they got wrong and why.

Going for the Green– Ms. Zalo takes a team of students to compete in the 2018 Envirothon. She has always been very involved in any science competitions, especially science fair and other science competitions. “She really showed her students the passion she had for the subject,” said senior Emma Johnston.

Since Ms. Zalo has been here for so long, she really has observed the changes in the school but the traditions stay rock-hard in the foundations.

“Wearing red, white and blue on Fridays and it’s not just football season it’s all year long, and always trying your best,” said Ms. Zalo about the traditions at Manatee that have stayed the same since she was a student.

Students are not the only ones who have felt Ms. Zalo’s impact. Teachers have as well, including Ms. Wiles, a marine science teacher.

“She’s been here for everybody, like she goes over and above the call of duty, like she comes and sits at the front desk over the summer to hand out and answer questions about AP+ and stuff like that. I didn’t even realize she did that,” said Ms. Wiles.

Ms. Wiles also believes that teaching is extremely important to Ms. Zalo, as well as making a positive impact on her students, going above and beyond what is required of her to make her students great. Ms. Zalo said that it was not until recently that she even thought about retiring, because she did not know what she would do after, she has been truly dedicated.

“I am so thrilled, and the reason I am thrilled is that I have something really great to do, and that’s why I never thought I was going to retire is because I didn’t know what I was going to do afterwards, but now that I have a grandson to take of, yes I am so excited,” said Ms. Zalo.

After working here for over 30 years, along spending her high school career here as well, she has made an impact on the staff and students around her. She has set a precedent for how teachers should inspire their students and push them to be their best. Ms. Zalo will truly be missed.

“Just doing your best always,” said Ms. Zalo about the legacy she hopes to leave, “and if anything were ever going to be named for me… it would be a recycling bin, because that’s what I want people to keep on doing, is recycling.”