The student news site of Emmaus High School



The student news site of Emmaus High School



    Kalb retires from Emmaus

    Deborah Kalb, a beloved Emmaus High School French teacher and chairwoman of the world language department plans to retire at the end of the 2023-24 school year.

    Kalb, a devoted EHS teacher with over 30 years of experience, graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and held a teaching assistant position at the University of Iowa. She then taught for several years at the University of Poitiers in France and continued her dedicated teaching career at EHS while also advising the French Club alongside fellow French teacher Celine Pissarra.

    Originally planning to get her doctorate in French, Kalb decided to get her master’s degree and teaching certification instead. She went on to teach all levels of French offered at EHS, including AP.

    “Getting my doctorate was my original plan, but then I had my daughter, Amélie, in France, so I wanted to put my French education to use, so I came back to Pennsylvania to teach,” Kalb said.

    Prior to EHS, Kalb taught one year of French and English at Palisades High School and proceeded to spend the next three years contributing to building the French Department there.

    As she transitioned into her role as chairwoman of the World Languages at EHS, she continued to advance the French Department at EHS. Kalb shared the responsibility of what being a chairwoman entails.

    “You wear many hats and have to be multifaceted. You are responsible for facilitating department meetings as well as professional development,” Kalb said. “I’m just kind of a liaison between department members and administration, whether it’s building administration or district administration. You interview for positions, and you help the interview process.”

    With a highly coveted French position opening up, Kalb shared that the department is deep into the long process of finding her replacement. With the help of fellow French teacher Celine Pissarra, she is currently interviewing and reviewing candidates. 

    Effective fall 2024, German teacher Kevin Bisignani will become the new Chair of the Language Department. 

    As the 2023-24 school year wraps up, Kalb plans to leave behind EHS with an unforgettable legacy.

    Kalb plans to spend her retirement time with her daughters, one residing in Philadelphia and the other in Washington, D.C., as well as visiting her brothers in Arlington and South Carolina and spending time with her beloved dog, Mayzie. 

    “It’s so ridiculous,” Kalb said about her retirement, “There’s all sorts of immediate plans, and then long term, it’s hard to know. I’ll be in the area for a couple of years.” 

    Kalb’s summer plans include chaperoning the EHS German students to Europe this summer and revisiting France in the coming years. 

    While leading the French Club, she ran trips that allowed students to visit places such as the Barnes Museum located in Philadelphia. 

    “I love France, but I actually really enjoy taking students to Canada. It was close. It was affordable for students. It was in the winter, so there was tons to do.” Kalb said.

    From trips out of the country to spending time with her students, Kalb will forever cherish the memories made outside the classroom just as much as the ones in the classroom. “The French students I have had over the years have been wonderful, I am going to miss them.”

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      ElizabethJun 1, 2024 at 12:39 am

      Best wishes for a well deserved retirement!