The Notorious Valerie King

Senior English teacher steps down


Nick Ramos, reporter, senior editor

Late into the first semester, a treasured teachers went into early retirement.  Senior English teacher Val King is well known by her students and colleagues here at Hays.  Most students know her for her outgoing personality and for always being understanding. But late last semester health issues brought King to the difficult decision to end her teaching year and career early and retire.

Student Nadia Garza, 12, said, “Mrs. King was a very understanding, caring, and unique teacher that everyone loved. She always was there for us when we needed her.”

King will also be known for her encouragement of creativity.

“Mrs. King also let us have complete freedom on every project and let us pick what we wanted to do or just making something up that went with the project,” said senior Sam Heidler said. “She allowed complete freedom to pursue abstract ideas of reality.”

John Andrew, 12, said, “Sometimes Mrs. King would just give us advice on what to do in life. She always gave her input on what we wanted to do in life and sometimes it would be harsh. She helped us realize that the world had a bunch of idiots and that we are in it for ourselves and that we shouldn’t be pleasing other people.”

Joe Aguirre, 12, said, “I only had the pleasure of having Valerie King for one semester but somehow she seemed to make it a memorable one. From the first day of school to the last day, she was here. Even her teaching style stood out from others: spunky, charismatic, and most of all fun.

“When we heard she wasn’t coming back we all felt a small wave of sadness, either because we wouldn’t have her again or we’d have a sub until they replaced her. In the end, she made a big impact and made my senior year a very memorable one,” said Aguirre. “Mrs. King if you’re reading this– you never got a chance to read my last journal entry, which was about how I was waiting for you to come back.”

Sierra Ramos, a 2018 Hays graduate, said, “Mrs. King inspired me to be a better person and always accept people for who they are. Mrs. King also inspired me to become a teacher as well. I just hope Mrs. King is alright and have the best time of her life as a new retiree.”

It’s safe to say Val King will be missed by all of her students and will be missed dearly.

For an exclusive interview with Val King, pick up a copy of The Nation spring magazine, coming in March.