Departing teachers share memories, future plans: Sharon Yost, Special Education

Written by Liza Kolbasov

Special education teacher Sharon Yost will be retiring this year after 26 years working in the deaf and hearing impaired program in the district. She also currently co-teaches contemporary world history with David Bisbee.

During her time teaching, Yost has watched disabled students grow and prosper. She feels that working in this field has given her the opportunity to make a difference in these students’ lives. “I loved watching each group of students mature as they progressed from entering freshmen to accomplished graduates,” she said. “Each achieved his or her goal and began university or career with confidence and an excellent academic foundation.”

Although she enjoyed working at Gunn, she often encountered challenges with the rigorous academic atmosphere. “Sometimes academic demands overwhelmed students.  In those cases, they worked with me to find successful avenues of approach so that ultimately, each was awarded a diploma,” Yost said. “Graduation night, then, was always a source of such abiding happiness and reflection.”

Yost has several plans for her retirement, including involvement in politics. “My goal in retirement is to campaign for progressive candidates who, among other goals, support the United States playing an integral role in the acceptance and support of Syrian refugees,” she said. Being retired will give her more of a chance to work towards this.

She also wants to spend more time enjoying her hobbies, such as running and cycling. She is planning to prepare for the Ironman triathlon and bike across the United States. “I’ve cycled the Pacific coast from Canada to Mexico; I’d love to shift that effort 90 degrees: California to New York,” she said.