Old teachers, new names

Adapting to teacher last name changes


Sarah Hale at Day of service Photo by: Christine Sticker

Brooke Kraizer, Staff Reporter

New backpack, new school supplies, new teachers. Or old teachers with NEW last names. Business teacher Sarah Hale and math teacher Heather Jafari both changed their last names during the summer after getting married late last school year and during the summer.
It’s been an adjustment for everyone, including themselves.  For newer students, it has been easy for them to go by Hale instead of Lueken, but the students who have already had her or know her… that isn’t the case, Hale said. She also said that even teachers refer to her as Lueken by accident. When asked who it was most difficult to adapt, business teacher Kim Carr took the words right out of Hale’s mouth and said “Me, even though I was in her wedding.” Hale’s own children were even concerned about her students’ reactions.   “I didn’t talk to my kids about me changing my last name until the week of the wedding. When I told them the first thing my son said to me was ‘Do your students know about this? Will they know who you are?’ Super cute and he was worried about that, but they have been fine with the name change,” Hale said.  Hale also mentions how sometimes she trips herself up due to the fact that Infinite Campus and online it refers to Lueken. When schedules came out she was also referred to as Lueken which she said is kind of funny but gave her students reassurance that she was still there and that nothing had changed.
Unlike Hale who has students adjusting, Jafari has students that have been with her for a long time that “refuse” to call her Jafari and stick with what they know.
“Beal was one of the first teachers I met when I went to high school, so I’ve been calling her beal for a long time.” Sophie Sokolik said. Sokolik also played basketball last season so she spent more time with Jafari.  “When you call someone the same name for so long it’s weird to call her something else,” Sokolik said. Although Jafari doesn’t necessarily have a preference on what students call her, she says she somewhat struggles with responding to Jafari, simply because she has been referred to by her last name Beal her whole life, even by her friends.
“Athletes still refer to me as Beal, most times if they say Jafari it is jokingly,” Jafari said.  Her last name was officially changed in June, but on schedules, like Hale, it still showed her maiden name. This was mostly confusing to Jafari because on her end it was changed. Because she was unaware of this on the first day of school she had newer students still referring to her as Beal.
“I had newer students coming in referring to me as Beal instead of Jafari,” Jafari said. Once this was figured out, the name sign on her door was changed so it has Beal and Jafari on it.
Hewitt was married towards the end of last school year but decided to wait to change names until the new school year. She said she doesn’t mind when people call her Duncan, she is just caught off guard sometimes. The change has been positive for most because all of the newer students just adjust and call her Hewitt. Along with the other two, she said that her co-workers have had the hardest time out off everyone to adjust.