After 39 years of teaching, McCamy leaves Athens

Natalie Van Genderen, Staff Writer

Luana McCamy, a high school teacher of 39 years, has worked to make a lasting impact on each of her students. McCamy teaches Spanish I, II, V and AP courses and has taught III and IV in the past. She has taught English, History, and Spanish classes at other schools in North Carolina. Teaching a variety of classes has given McCamy the opportunity to work with students in each grade.

“She is a very strict teacher when she needs to be, but she’s very supportive of my academic progress,” said Aubrey Hicks, junior, who is a student in one of McCamy’s Spanish I classes this semester.

Hicks said that having McCamy as a teacher has changed his opinion of learning Spanish and that her “weird, funny attitude” towards her students keeps the class going every day.

“She’s made Spanish a lot more interesting than it was before I took the class,” Hicks said.

Athens requires students to take two foreign language classes in order to graduate and many students choose Spanish from the three languages that are offered. McCamy has worked previously with the other Spanish teachers to strengthen the foreign language department and the curriculum for each class level.

“I’ll have finished all of the Spanish classes at Athens when she leaves, but I’ll definitely miss her,” said Joey Liptak, junior. Liptak is a student in McCamy’s Spanish V class this year. He has also been her student in Spanish III and IV and will be in her AP class in the second semester of this year.

McCamy is bilingual in both English and Spanish, and Liptak says this makes her classes easier to understand, for both English speakers and native Spanish speakers. Growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she learned both languages at a young age.  McCamy moved to the United States to attend college and become a teacher. She has been certified to teach and has taught AP courses since 1998.

“Mrs. McCamy is definitely one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Being in her class was like being a part of a family,” said Kara Johnson, senior. Johnson was a student in McCamy’s AP class last year. “Not only did she teach us the Spanish language but also important life lessons such as dedication, patience, and drive,” said Johnson.

McCamy plans to retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year after 26 years of teaching at Athens Drive.  She intends to move with her husband to their home in Panama, one of her favorite places after retiring.