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Cherie Eulau’s retirement and impactful legacy at Foothill Tech

Audrey Yoong
The 2023-2024 school year will be Cherie Eulau’s last year of teaching after working at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) and teaching for 27 years. Over the years, Eulau has taught World History, United States History, Advanced Placement (AP) Government and Politics, Economics and Ethnic Studies and Social Justice.

As a beloved teacher of Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech), Cherie Eulau is known for her uniquely individualized classroom decor, uplifting music that she blasts as students enter class and, most notably, her welcoming spirit. However, students of the sophomore World History teacher and senior Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics (AP Gov) and Economics teacher will have to say goodbye on a permanent basis at the end of the 2023-2024 school year, as Eulau will retire from Foothill Tech come fall.

Eulau initially announced her retirement in a Canvas Announcement with her classes, stating that she “applied for a Ventura Unified School District [VUSD] early retirement incentive which was approved by the school board.”

I think good teachers are also the people who really like to learn.

— Cherie Eulau

She later elaborated that VUSD offered teachers who met certain criteria an early retirement bonus, with an incentive to save money. “The longer you’ve been in [VUSD] the more you get paid, and with declining enrollment,” Eulau shared, “if [VUSD] can have older, more expensive teachers retire, they can hire younger, less expensive teachers or administrators.”

Before becoming the teacher that she is today, however, Eulau originally applied to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). “I didn’t get selected,” she reflected on this original path, “but I just knew that [teaching] would be something that I would really enjoy and be good at.”

Reflecting on her reasoning for becoming a teacher, “Most of it is because I like learning so much … I’ve been doing this for 27 years and I still learn from students and I’m still excited by what they come up with.”

Eulau’s favorite part of being a teacher is “continuing to learn and create and have discussions with students.” She emphasized, “There aren’t that many jobs in the adult world where you get to talk about why democracy is difficult or how you would solve the issues of the electoral college.”

Eulau originally went into teaching because of a strong desire to learn and create. Now transitioning into a new phase of her life, Eulau plans to use her retirement as a way to spend more time with her granddaughter and volunteer with Ventura Land Trust. (Audrey Yoong)

Prior to teaching at Foothill Tech, Eulau taught at Buena High School (Buena). “The collaboration at [Foothill Tech] is what drew me here,” she stated. “It’s also because we attract teachers that want to work with other teachers and create lessons and projects … rather than being in your own little silo.”

Undoubtedly, Eulau’s favorite subject to teach is the sophomore World History class because of the “big questions we ask.” She added, “I like it too because it resonates so much with what’s happening today … I also truly enjoyed putting together the Ethnic Studies class and getting it going, and handing it over to [Claire Adams] and to see her take it, run with it and see it continue to grow. Her leadership has been really rewarding.”

Out of her years of teaching, Eulau’s favorite assignments and projects to teach are distinct in her memory. “Back to World History, when we did the ‘Better Story’ or the ‘Rhetoric Project’ years ago, we got some amazing, fun and creative things. I still, though, enjoy the simulation that we just finished in AP Gov with the election.” She also stated, “‘Who’s Responsible?’ is still one of my favorites, just because it applies to today so much.”

Eulau expressed that she will certainly miss a number of her colleagues during her retirement. “Working with [Adams] and [Jason Dinkler] for the 10th grade collaboration … Everybody in the I-pod … [Yiu Hung Li] and [Heather Ferris], I already miss [Kurt Miller] … [Dan FitzPatrick] and I used to have great discussions, sometimes just about the Dodgers.” She also emphasized the importance of  “honoring the hard work of people like [Melanie “Captain” Lindsey] … [Richard Geib] really set [Foothill Tech] apart from other schools.”

I enjoy taking a nuanced look at history and getting kids to see all the different factors.

— Cherie Eulau

Unsurprisingly, Eulau has a myriad of plans that she is looking forward to upon retirement. From spending time with her granddaughter to working with Ventura Land Trust, Eulau’s involvement with the community will remain strong. “I’d also like to be able to do some events with CAUSE … even if they just need someone to set up chairs at an event, I’m there. I really believe in what they do.” 

As a final message to her colleagues and her students, Eulau encourages everyone to “stay engaged, be aware and question the question. Wherever you are, I think questioning the question serves us all well. What are we doing here and how can we make it better?”

Eulau’s legacy will continue at Foothill Tech, as she urges the community to promote the collaborative and collegiate nature of the school. Although Foothill Tech will say goodbye to her when the 2023-2024 school year ends, she will remain a pillar of the school in how she has impacted those around her. 

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About the Contributors
Tessa Shinden
Tessa Shinden, Editor-in-Chief
An Editor-in-Chief who is technologically illiterate. Send help.
Audrey Yoong
Audrey Yoong, Photographer
I'm a first-year photographer who loves reading, golfing and trying new restaurants.

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