Sabeen Malik | May 29, 2019
Greenhills has been around for over 50 years now, and with that, there are definitely some teachers that have been here for quite some time. And for two of them, this year marks their last as they head out for retirement. I had the opportunity to correspond with Barbara Ebeling and interview Marsha Mumm in person about their experience at Greenhills and how they feel as they set to retire after over 20 years.
How long have you been working at Greenhills and what do you teach?
Ebeling: “I began teaching at Greenhills in 1994 and in my 25 years here, I have taught Drama 6, English 7, English 8, and Integrated Public Speaking (IPS). My extra-curricular has always been the middle and upper school forensic teams.”
Marsha: 32 Wonderful years, 2,000 alums, 85 sports seasons.
Describe your experience working at Greenhills.
Ebeling: “Teaching at Greenhills is exhilarating because most students want to learn and will eagerly accept suggestions for improvement. With such a bright population, I have always felt that feedback about my classes was thoughtful. Students grow in skills and confidence, and I have had the privilege to witness this growth.
Teaching at Greenhills is intense. Staff and students are busy. All of us are involved in many activities and have numerous responsibilities. That said, this school is an exciting place. Coaching the forensic teams have definitely been one of the highlights of my time here because this group shares my interests in acting and public speaking. The tournaments are fun, and many members of our team have been very successful. Simply put, this makes me happy. It is also very rewarding to work with some students for seven years, since many on the team began forensics in grade six.”
Marsha: “When I look back on it, it’s nearly impossible to put 32 years into a phrase, so you really have to narrow it down and be succinct. But, it’s been a pleasure and it’s been a joy, and it’s been fun!”
Looking back at your time at Greenhills, what has been one of your favorite moments?
Ebeling: “Sharing a smile with an IPS colleague or fellow coach when a student performs amazingly well.”
“Sitting at the awards assemblies tournament after tournament hearing the names of students on my team who are being honored. “And from Greenhills…” is how the tournament host will begin, and my heart leaps a little.”
“Sitting in the auditorium at the conclusion of the state high school tournament, and listening to the MIFA executive director announce the sweepstakes awards. Fourteen times, I have heard, “…and in first place, from Greenhills, Barbara Ebeling.” In my last year as head coach, it was especially satisfying to have the team become Class C/D Division Champions.”
Marsha: “Being at Greenhills, one of the most rewarding moments was hearing those three little words. In literature and in movies, people always say those three little words, and when somebody says those three little words, it makes you feel so important and wonderful. My favorite days are when the students left saying these precious three little words… That was fun!
What’s one thing you’ve taken away from being at Greenhills for so long?
Ebeling: “I take away a sense of pride at being a Greenhills teacher. Here, I have been allowed to practice the art and craft of teaching. I am especially thankful for the collaborative nature of the teaching experience; I have learned much from my colleagues.”
Marsha: “Just… what a great community this is. And, that word is often overused, but it fits this school perfectly. And everybody, whether they’re a teacher, students, alumni, or administrator, we’re all part of the greater thing, and people keep that in mind. They go out of their way; whether it’s to pick up a piece of trash off the floor or come back to graduation for their 6th grade buddy, or even alums that come back for retirement parties, it sticks with you. This isn’t just a school or a place that we pass through; you help to create it and you keep a piece of that with you.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the community?
Ebeling: “Thank you Greenhills – all of you – students, parents, staff, colleagues. You have brought out the best in me; I have worked hard and had fun in the process. I will miss this place.”
Marsha: “It’s been a privilege and it’s been an honor. I feel so lucky and I’m really, really going to miss this place. I hope to be around often formally and informally… Oh, and of course, for the free lunch. Being at Greenhills, I was able to defy two ideas: Work isn’t fun, and there ain’t no free lunch!”
On behalf of the Greenhills community, I’d like to say this: Thank you both for everything. We will miss you greatly; and although Greenhills won’t be the same without you both, you have embedded skills in every student to help us be successful. We hope to see you around the hills :-).