Retiring teachers plan for future after cherished years at AWHS


Genevieve Peterson

Retiring ceramics teacher Ms. Cederstrom, remaniises on good years at Archie Williams

With the end of each school year comes the bittersweet news of Archie Williams High School (AWHS)’s beloved teachers’ retirement. Leaving this year are Thea Haselton, Irene Friedman, and Beth Cederstrom. 

Haselton, a therapist at Bay Area Community Resources who is currently working at AWHS as a counselor, plans to start her own private therapy practice. She is also excited to have more time for hobbies, such as oil painting, after her retirement from AWHS. Haselton looks back on her time at the school fondly. Among her favorite moments have been working with the staff and students at the school, whom she called “kind and lovely.”

Retiring BACR Therapist Ms. Hasselton. (Genevieve Peterson)

“Through the years there have been so many students who will stay with me….just the privilege of seeing people on their path and how they grow has been really tremendous,” Haselton said.

It’s been a great ride, I’ll miss it all, but it’s time to move on to the next part of my life.

— Irene Friedman

Friedman, a Paraeducator at AWHS, is ready to have more freedom for adventures such as road trips with her husband. She plans to take retirement one day at a time and focus on the things she loves. She hopes that in her 23 years at AWHS she has touched the hearts of students and teachers. 

“I’ve been fortunate to work with so many amazing  teachers and it’s been a true honor to be a part of the most incredible Bridge team,”  Friedman said. “I’ve learned so much from them and from my students over the years. It’s been a great ride, I’ll miss it all, but it’s time to move on to the next part of my life.”

Retiring paraeducator Ms. Friedman. (Genevieve Peterson)

After working as a ceramics teacher at AWHS for 21 years, Cederstrom plans to get some rest from constant work in the studio and at the kiln. She plans to travel more, create more art, and try not to “turn into a complete hermit.”

Cederstrom reflects on how the students at AWHS enriched her life; she especially wanted to acknowledge the “Yogi and Yoginis.” She hopes that she enriched their lives as much as they did hers.  

“My greatest hope is that students found a safe home in the ceramic studio where they learned how to take risks, trust themselves, work cooperatively, and where they experienced the joy of learning,” Cedarstrom said.

Cedarstrom thanks the community and administration for supporting her and reinforcing the arts during her years at AWHS. Lastly, Cederstrom says that she will miss all her students and their adventures together. However, she is delighted for her newfound  time to relax.

These three teachers will embark on new chapters in their lives, adjacent to the school’s new chapter as AWHS. Cedarstrom, Friedman, and Haselton will keep their teaching memories with them in their retirement, as will the students whose lives they touched on their journeys.