Knights Banner

The student news site of Arroyo High School

Knights Banner

The student news site of Arroyo High School

Knights Banner

End The End of a Chapter for Ms. Laun Flores


After thirty eight years of teaching, Spanish teacher Melinda Laun Flores has a few words she would like to say before leaving for her retirement.

Ms. Flores in the beginning never planned to teach, but instead teaching chose her. At the age of 24 she came back from 2 years service in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. She said “I wasn’t sure about my next step in life when a friend of my dad contacted me about an opening for a Spanish teacher at Arroyo. He was an administrator and it was December, so the school was in dire straits looking for someone to fill the position. I was sure that I would only teach for a couple of years and then find my real niche. Luckily, I learned to enjoy teaching, I liked being around teenagers, and I loved the 10-month work schedule so that I could travel in the summers.” 


The most enjoyable thing about teaching her subject, Spanish, is being able to teach the language and experience the culture. She said, “Teaching a world language is the absolute best thing because I can incorporate what I love most: learning language and experiencing other cultures. Since I love to travel, a highlight in my career was to travel twice to Costa Rica with groups of students from Arroyo. My wish is for everyone to learn another language so we can learn to love and accept people from other places and cultures.

Story continues below advertisement

After teaching for 38 years at Arroyo, it’s been a huge accomplishment in her teaching career. Throughout those years she enjoyed being a leader in different capacities so that she could work closely not only with my department members but also so she could get to know people from other departments and offices. The memories she made were running “into former students in the most unlikely places, and they remember things from my class. It is especially rewarding when I find out they are able to use what I taught them (Spanish) in their work or personal life.”


Her experience of working at Arroyo is being able to make wonderful connections and friendships with the staff and for the students she was able to advise CSF Club and work with many students. She also mentioned, “Over the years, I was fortunate to go to many college campuses with the club members; and I feel like I was able to influence quite a few students in their choice of college. Every year I was proud to award the Gold Sealbearers (CSF seniors who earned honors upon graduation) their senior regalia after achieving 4 years of excellence in their studies. It is a great club to be an advisor.”


Her plans for retirement isn’t the easiest decision to make as everyone asks her, but for sure she wants to do more of what she enjoys most which is “biking, hiking, camping, traveling, and spending time with family. In addition, I want to take classes like woodworking, ceramics, dance, and maybe even studying another language (to add to my Spanish and German.)”


To the new teachers who are starting out, the advice that she would like to give is “Be flexible and be forgiving of yourself and of others because none of us is perfect; and we are all on the journey of learning and growing at different stages of life.” She also said, “ I would tell them to stay strong and not give up because the first three to five years are the most difficult. It takes time to learn classroom management, to develop and gather creative activities that engage students, and to adapt to the pace of bells ringing and moving you through each day.”


Her final words for the school are “I would like to thank everyone at Arroyo who was kind to me over the years, who helped and supported me as a teacher, and who accepted me even with all my shortcomings. I especially will miss my department. We are super close-knit; and I pray that we continue to break bread together, meet up for activities, party together (haha!), and travel together. I am so blessed by each one of them. They are the ones making it very hard to leave this place! I will miss my amazing colleagues. I have so many fond memories of treasured times with my department colleagues and with many who have been my friends and who have made Arroyo a happy place to work. I never dreaded a day in my career because I always could look forward to being accepted and supported and having fun on this campus.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Knights Banner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *