1 more teacher farewell: Arbor Heights Elementary’s Mark Ahlness

(From left, AH principal Christy Collins, Mark Ahlness, 1st-grade teacher Ms. Wilson)
As the school year wound down to its Friday finale, we have featured several farewell celebrations for beloved retiring teachers. In most cases, the celebration plan was announced in advance, and we were honored to be invited to be there to take a photo. At Arbor Heights Elementary, they had to surprise one retiring teacher who by all accounts was hoping to leave (after 21 years there) without much fuss. But we’re glad that a parent volunteer shared the photo, because we wanted to say a special word of thanks to AH’s third-grade teacher Mark Ahlness. As far as we recall, he’s the first West Seattle teacher ever mentioned on WSB – we discovered some of his work almost five years ago, no surprise because one of his many accomplishments was making Arbor Heights one of the first schools to have a website! And the first to publish all its student newsletters online – on Friday, he was also onstage to honor this year’s “Junior Seahawk Reporters”:

He’s coached countless students through online writing – the archive’s at roomtwelve.com – and writes online himself (some of his retirement reflections are here). Over the past few years, he has also from time to time updated us – and therefore, tens of thousands of West Seattleites and other WSB readers – on Arbor Heights students’ achievements, also including the annual Earth Day Groceries Project (a now-international activity, which, like the AH website, was launched in 1994). We know AH Elementary’s community has many more memories of him, but since we didn’t get a chance to sign the banner – we wanted to publicly say “thank you, Mr. Ahlness” too!

6 Replies to "1 more teacher farewell: Arbor Heights Elementary's Mark Ahlness"

  • Heather woodruff June 24, 2012 (8:30 pm)

    Mark is a wonderful teacher. He will be missed but we were very luck to have him!

  • cwit June 24, 2012 (9:58 pm)

    Best regards to Mr. Ahlness in his retirement. I think he also worked on the Arbor Heights Elementary wikispaces page. That was an invaluable resource.

  • Maggie June 25, 2012 (5:06 am)

    3 cheers to what sounds like someone who was a fantastic teacher!

  • TWooley June 25, 2012 (10:39 am)

    Mark gave so much to the Arbor Heights community. I wish you the best; enjoy retirement. Stay techie!

  • Lynn Salter June 26, 2012 (6:20 pm)

    Mark has been my teaching partner for his 21 years at Arbor Heights. Not only is he a caring, dedicated teacher, he is a loyal friend who has always been there to support me. It has been my pleasure to teach with such a wonderful person. I will truly miss him every day during my last two years of teaching.

  • Mark Ahlness June 27, 2012 (8:48 pm)

    Many thanks for the kind words from everyone. I have been blessed to be able to teach at Arbor Heights. And Lynn, my teaching chops never held a candle to yours – thanks for the guidance and repeated bailouts :) Happy summer!

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