A Prinsen Among Teachers

Mary Wallace

Mrs. Linda Prinsen has been working at Bellows Falls Union High school for the past thirty-five years, by Ms. Falzo’s best estimate, and is planning to retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year.  She works as a special education teacher, which means she is a case manager and English teacher for students with disabilities. 

When she herself was a student, Mrs. Prinsen viewed teaching as a job which held a valuable role in both shaping and helping others grow.  She began her career working with young adults who suffered from various learning and physical difficulties.  Pulling from these experiences, Mrs. Prinsen has accumulated many positive memories and experiences.  One of these in particular was a subway strike in Boston, where one of her colleagues exhibited the initiative necessary to hail and pay for a taxi to work, overcoming a transportation crisis which many other city dwellers were unable to work around.  It is these sorts of improvements which Mrs. Prinsen loves about her job- the ability to watch people overcome obstacles, grow their problem-solving skills through strong work-ethics and positive attitudes.

After retirement, Prinsen hopes to take a step back and enjoy hobbies such as gardening, sewing, quilting, and spending time with her family.  She will miss teaching, but appreciates the opportunity to try something new.  This past year’s virus has enlightened her to appreciate interacting with students in person, and has taught her to focus on people’s overall well being before their academic performance.  Despite recent global stressors, working with students who are motivated is a major reward for Mrs. Prinsen; the ability to watch others grow and make gains in their development is something which she strongly values.

Additionally, Mrs. Prinsen admires the Bellows Falls Staff, and the community which invests so much time and care into creating an interactive learning environment.  From her time working in Bellows Falls, she will miss the events and community opportunities which are unique to this school, like helping the drama club, and catering sports games.  The school holds an incredible and unique group of staff and administrators who create a welcoming environment that allows people in different departments to get to know each other.  That, or it’s the lack of walls!

Her classroom is in the language section of the school building, directly across from the English and social studies hallway, near a group of expressive murals.  It’s characterized by a brightly painted wall and ceiling, as was decorated by the Latin teacher who previously occupied the classroom.  Another reason to appreciate the school’s environment, she says. The space is bright and pleasant, and full of memories.

Kim Lunna, an experienced English teacher who has worked closely with Ms. Prinsen says of her leaving, “it’s a huge loss for our school. Linda has got to be the most patient person I have ever worked with.” Kind words for a kind person, and we all wish her the very best.