After 31 years of dedicated teaching at Heritage, Profesora Monica Sena-O’Hara is retiring. Although her time at Heritage is coming to a close, her legacy at school will remain strong. At the end of her teaching career, Profesora Sena-O’Hara reflects on her time at HHS.
“I hope to have shared my passion and love of my heritage and language with my students. In return, my students have taught me to live in the present, to know each day will bring something new to learn from them as I believe we are lifelong learners,” says Profesora Sena-O’Hara.
Profesora Sena-O’Hara’s time with LPS didn’t start at Heritage. Although a large part of her teaching career was spent at HHS, she has been involved with the district since day one.
“I am a graduate of LPS, an Arapahoe Warrior, yup, my students already know this information. I wanted to return to teach in LPS and when given the opportunity I started at my middle school, Euclid, go FALCONS! Then a position opened up at LHS, taught there several years, GO LIONS! And then HHS came up. I moved over here, settled in and never left,” says Profesora Sena-O’Hara.
Throughout her years at HHS, Profesora O’Hara has impacted her students just as much as they’ve impacted her. Carolyn M. ’22, a student of Profesora O’Hara for two years, shares one of her favorite memories and what she’ll miss about Profesora Sena-O’Hara.
“On Valentine’s Day this year, she gave us brownies and talked to us about our plans for the holiday. I’ll miss her wacky outfits and how, during Advisory, she found time to help me with my Spanish homework,” says Carolyn.
Profesora Sena-O’Hara also has her fair share of happy memories at school.
“ALL of my best memories at HHS make up a huge rug that is woven together by all of the great kids that came through my classroom, seeing their talent on so many platforms both inside and outside of the classroom, my teaching peers/staff sharing our school day and our time in collaborative meetings, all of the activities each month of the school year, getting new t- shirts, planners and yearbooks, the fun and festivities of Spirit Week, chaperoning dances and seeing my kids all dressed up, watching my Advisories start out as nervous freshmen then see them cross the stage at graduation all grown up as confident seniors, seeing our beautiful eagle mascot at graduation, feeling part of one huge family/community that cared, loved, laughed, cried, celebrated together and took pride in belonging to HERITAGE HIGH SCHOOL,” says Profesora Sena-O’Hara.
Though she is ready to retire, Heritage will stay in her heart, and she will miss the school’s community.
“Heritage was my home for over 30 years. It is very hard to leave a home you love with all of its people (students/staff) and memories. I am truly sad to not only leave Heritage but also retire from a profession that I have been proud to be a part of and the students who have kept me on my toes and young at heart,” says Profesora Sena-O’Hara.
After she retires, Profesora O’Hara plans to follow through on some of her lifelong dreams.
“I have always wanted to build houses with Habitat for Humanity and serve up meals with Project Angel Heart. I plan to volunteer and stay busy in the community. In the near future, I do plan to move back to my much missed and loved birthplace, New Mexico,” says Profesora Sena-O’Hara.
As Profesora Sena-O’Hara prepares to leave her beloved profession and her home away from home, she expresses gratitude to all those who have influenced her journey.
“Living in the past or future, you miss out on people and things in front of you. If you live in the present there is so much joy to be found. Thank you for such wonderful memories!” says Profesora Sena-O’Hara.
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