Rhonda Case, French teacher, retires to help stop global intimate violence

After teaching at WLHS for 20 years, Rhonda Case, French teacher, has announced her retirement. Next year, Case will stay close and work for something that she is passionate about.
“I will be staying in the area and working with the program SAIV, (Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence),” Case said. “Those who are interested can visit their website and learn more about the remarkable and visionary woman who founded SAIV, Dr. Riane Eisler.”
SAIV is an organization which has a mission to end international violence, rape, child abuse, female infanticide and other brutal practices. SAIV was founded by Riane Eisler with Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams and is a project of the Center for Partnership Studies a nonprofit organization.
Many students, including Sara Frank, junior, have expressed their sorrow about her leaving.
“It’s really sad [that she is leaving] because I was looking forward to having her as a teacher again,” Frank said.
“She is one of the nicest, most positive people I have ever met.”
Case knew that she wanted to teach French during her middle school years. Although she sidetracked during high school and ended up studying nursing in college, she returned to her original dream and began teaching in 1986.
“Finally, in 1986 I began teaching French at a private high school in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania,” Case said. “Then, in 1992, I moved back to Oregon and was referred by Dr. Vistica at Portland State University (PSU) for a teaching position that had just become available at WLHS. Dr. Vistica told me I’d be very happy here and she was right.”
After her experiences at WLHS, Case feels that she was meant to teach there.
“My room number at the [other school] had been 103 and my room in the old building at WLHS was also 103,” Case said. “After that, I taught for eight years in Room E103. My birthday just happens to be Oct. 3. I’d call that destiny.”
Once she began teaching at WLHS, Case developed her own style that she feels suits her and her students. Frank agrees, and she appreciates the way that Case teaches.
“On the first day of freshman year she talked to us in French that we could understand and made us feel like we were actually prepared for high school,” Frank said.
Case’s colleague, Erin O’Malley has known Case for six years, starting when they met during O’Malley’s internship at Wilsonville High School.
“Students and teachers alike have shared that they think Madame Case is one of the most caring teachers they have had,” O’Malley said.
Frank also feels that the students next year will be missing out on an excellent teacher.
“She perfectly balances being a friend, teacher and role model,” Frank said. “The students next year won’t have that experience.”
According to Case, she loves the students and the energy that they provide.
“It’s fun to see how much language proficiency the motivated students are able to gain in just two short years,” Case said. “I love the enthusiasm that our students show every year for our Walk-a-thon for ‘Doctors Without Borders.'”
Both O’Malley and Frank will miss Case as she leaves this year.
“She has wisdom and experience and I wanted to learn as much from her as I could,” O’Malley said. “I only wish we had more time to work together.”
For more information on Case’s plans, visit www.saiv.net.