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We Will Miss Axiotis

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Ms. Axiotis will have a lasting legacy at Yorktown

Ms. Axiotis will have a lasting legacy at Yorktown

Kate Cressey

Kate Cressey

Ms. Axiotis will have a lasting legacy at Yorktown

Sofie Dalton and Maggie Keane, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Saving the best for last, English teacher Martha Axiotis definitely got the best during her last year as a teacher. Axiotis had originally planned on retiring after the 2016 school year, but decided to teach for one more year after her husband was stationed in Afghanistan. This turned out to be the perfect decision, as she describes her current five English 12 classes as “awesome.”

Her love and dedication for teaching and for her students has made Axiotis a wonderful and integral part of the school community. Axiotis started teaching here in the fall of 1991 after teaching at Washington-Lee High School for eight years. Her passion for teaching English started at an early age, Axiotis has wanted to be an English teacher since she was in third grade.

Axiotis has taught all levels of English throughout her time in Arlington County. She started with 9th and 10th grade, and she currently teaches both 12th grade Advanced Placement (AP) and regular English. Axiotis loves teaching English because of her passion for reading and her desire to ignite that passion in others.

“I just have always loved reading, so I like to choose books that might light a fire under some other person who then can learn to love reading as well,” Axiotis said.

Axiotis has thoroughly enjoyed her time here and will miss many aspects of her job, but she will especially miss her students.

“The kids are just nice people, they are hard working too…it’s all about the kids, I’m going to miss them the most,” Axiotis said.

Not only does Axiotis have positive views of her students but, her students feel the same about her.

“Ms. Axiotis will definitely have a lasting legacy at Yorktown. Looking back on all my high school English classes, she’s the teacher that stands out for me. Her class was one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding. I always find that I end up learning more from hard teachers and I would say she fits that description pretty well,” senior, Julia Sachs said.

“I like how she speaks her mind. She is funny and stern at the same time and is an overall good teacher that pushes you to be better,” junior, Maxwell Turner said.

Axiotis thinks that implementing more electives in the school curriculum would be extremely beneficial to the students. It would allow students to focus more on what they want to do instead of just taking the “right” classes.

“I think more electives should be put into our program. I think the business of all AP classes and all down to business classes aren’t really doing kids a favor… I think today kids don’t really know what they want to do. We focus them so much on academics that they don’t get a choice to see other electives that they could possibly branch out into,” Axiotis said.

Even though Axiotis will be retiring after this year, she will still be keeping busy by splitting her time between Arlington and Hollywood, Florida. Axiotis also has aspirations of writing a book about her life experiences, starting in high school.

“I have always wanted to write a book, but being a teacher you don’t have much time for writing,” Axiotis said.

Something that Axiotis’ students may not know about her is that she considers herself somewhat introverted.

“I come across as very outgoing… but it takes me awhile to warm up to people, and it takes me a while to really feel comfortable talking to strangers, and I don’t really like getting up in front of the faculty very much… and yet everyday I get up in front of the kids,” Axiotis said.

Axiotis has made a tremendous impact at our school that has been witnessed by both students and teachers. English teacher Adam Sheppard recalls how Axiotis welcomed him into the school community.

“She’s probably, out of everyone at Yorktown, the most welcoming person in this building. She goes out of her way, especially when there’s someone new, to make sure she goes over and introduces herself and tries to incorporate them into anything that’s going on and make them feel comfortable,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard thinks Axiotis will be missed for her personality and the welcoming atmosphere she brings.

“She is a personality of this school. There’s a lot of people who might be in this school who come and go and you don’t talk to them that much but she is a major personality in this school and that is going to leave a vacuum where she was,” Sheppard said.

Outside of school Axiotis enjoys bowling, hiking with her husband and sailing on her 16 foot sailboat. Retirement will give her more time to pursue these and other hobbies.

While there are many things she will miss, Axiotis is excited about her retired life and the abundance of opportunities that will arise from it. Axiotis fulfilled her goal during her time here: she lit a fire that will never be extinguished in all of her students. She will be missed, but her teachings and passions will live on through all of the students and teachers she so strongly impacted.

YHS Community Thoughts

“The thing that I really liked most about Axiotis was that, while her class was demanding and required a lot of work, she was always flexible and could work around other people’s schedules. She also did a great job teaching the different books we read this year and was able to make even the trickiest of poems/prose passages understandable” – Christian Cleveland, senior

“Ms. Axiotis is one of the most caring teachers I’ve had and I’m so grateful I was able to be her student during her last year here at Yorktown. I wish her all the best!”- Emma Theunissen, senior

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We Will Miss Axiotis