EDITORIAL: Thanks and farewell to 11 years of greatness and gravitas

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Boiling Point Unsigned Editorials

By the BP Editorial Board

A recent yet untraceable colloquialism which has entered the lexicon of many Shalhevet students is the term “Old Shalhevet.” There is no exact year which divides “old Shalhevet” from “new Shalhevet” — perhaps the new building, or changes in faculty and leadership.

But “old Shalhevet” seems to evoke something great when spoken about — the energy of the old building, maybe the smaller size of Shalhevet a decade or less ago, or maybe former teachers whose absence has given them kind of a mythical status in retrospect.   Surely added to this pantheon will be SAS Psychology, SAS History and Jewish History teacher Mrs. Tove Sunshine, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Mrs. Sunshine taught at Shalhevet for 11 years, a period which saw a lot of change. She has taught through it all, and the Editorial Board believes her presence and qualities deserve a song of praise.

In class, she carries students blissfully through hour-long lectures on strings of  clear and perfect sentences. Words such as “like” and “um,” which most people use to pause and slow down to catch up to themselves while speaking, are not in her vocabulary. While others fragment their sentences with thoughtless syllables, nothing in Ms. Sunshine’s world is haphazard.  English is not her first language, as she is a native of Denmark, but her calm command of the spoken word would make you think she taught English Literature, too.

It is not just Ms. Sunshine’s verbal expression which brings students joy; her facial expressions, too, are likewise intelligent and edifying. When someone says something factually incorrect or nonsensical, years of students have looked across across a sea of uncomfortable silence and blank stares for heartening solace in her subtle grimaces, frowns, furrowed brows, smirks and smiles.

Neima Fax
FAIR: Students said Ms. Sunshine’s classes went by quickly and changed the way they think. She inspired several alumni to become psychologists.

Her PowerPoints would win Oscars if the Academy created a section for slideshows. Mrs. Sunshine blends in funny cartoons with complicated subjects like parallel processing.

And though it brought her closer to retirement, Mrs. Sunshine’s age was for some students a nice break from the cheerleader peppiness of the rest of the faculty, most of whom are in their 20s and 30s. Her life experience imparted a certain gravitas which permeated her classroom, letting students imbibe maturity from someone who easily commanded respect.

And so it is with real sadness that we bid Ms. Sunshine a farewell. We hope she finds the same meaning, happiness and spark in her retirement years that you brought to the Shalhevet community for a decade-plus-a-year. Of the many major transition points which divine Old Shalhevet from New Shalhevet, this one certainly hurts the most.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the members of the Editorial Board, which consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Web Editor-in-Chief, Community Editor and Faculty Advisor. We welcome submissions for signed editorials from members of the Shalhevet Community, and the final decision about printing them is made by the Editorial Board. Submissions should be emailed to [email protected]

Click here to read other BP unsigned editorials.


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