Written By: Staff Writer Rafaela Alvizuri
Over the past six and a half years, the MC library has remained a home of comfort and safety for all students, thanks to the amazing librarian-technician duo: Ms. Faulk and Mrs. Thomas. These two hard working women have shaped the library into a safe haven for students looking for a bit of relief from their typical school day.
When Ms. Faulk arrived at the MC library in 2015, “[She] really made this place freer, and easier. Like a place to come and hang out, rather than a place where you can’t move the chairs, there’s only four to a table, and you must have your ID card to check out a book” said Thomas. After working at MC for almost 12 years, Thomas saw that “most rules were loosened and it made it a much more relaxing workplace.”
The partnership between Mrs. Thomas and Ms. Faulk has not only affected the MCHS student body, but their individual lives as well. Ms. Faulk and Mrs. Thomas’s friendship will last, even once they go their separate ways.
“Mrs. Thomas and I have developed an amazing professional relationship that has also become an outstanding friendship. We have celebrated family milestones and regardless of where the world takes us, I am sure we will continue to do so,” Faulk said.
Ms. Thomas feels the same way and is grateful for the memories she has shared with Ms. Faulk.
“Ms. Faulk’s a great person, and she came to both my kids’ weddings […] We were each other’s ‘human Prozac’, which is what we used to say,” Thomas said.
Never failing to support one another in times of need, these two women worked as an efficient pair to create a safe space even in a usually busy atmosphere.
“Everybody had a place here, no matter where they came from, no matter who they were, and all of that. This wasn’t a stereotypical place where we were shushing,” Ms. Faulk said.
Though saying goodbye to MC’s much-loved librarians will be a sad one, there is no need to worry about the inevitable transition into a new duo taking over the MCHS library.
“So, this is gonna be like when you change planes. It’s seamless. We’ll set everything up for registration, and that’s why all the books are out and templated,” Faulk said.
This upcoming school year, the new librarian will be Debbie Jefferson, the current librarian from Poway High.
“I think she should be a great fit for Mount Carmel, and she’s so into students, providing services, and everything else,” Faulk said.
Ms. Faulk and Mrs. Thomas have two very different, yet exciting paths planned for each of their futures.
Mrs. Faulk was hired as an educational consultant in October for a company in New York. They help give approval to charter and public schools along the east coast, where standards of approval are typically very strict.
“They basically are doing things to help bring equity and opportunities to schools serving neighborhoods that don’t have as great access to resources, and that kind of thing”, Faulk said.
Besides working f0r the company, she’s also doing freelance writing, including work on her personal memoir. Faulk taught English for 19 years at Rancho Bernardo and is excited to continue that passion for the written word.
“I get to do the things that I coached kids to do. All the things I said- ‘you can write’, and ‘everybody can write’. Yes! You just have to have the courage to put the thoughts in your head on paper,” Faulk said.
Mrs. Thomas will also be retiring. She plans to travel a lot in the future, Oregon and Canada being the most prominent locations on her current travel itinerary. Her two children live in Oregon and her family owns a cottage in Canada.
Although Mrs. Thomas “can be a homebody” she can “find plenty to do with a book”. She also loves to get out and explore nature outdoors.
Mrs. Thomas and her husband are a very active couple. They love to hike and enjoy various outdoor activities.
“[We] would like to visit national parks. Both of us really enjoy sports, so we’d also love to go visit every major league ballpark,” Thomas said.
Ms. Faulk and Mrs. Thomas will miss different things that stem from their time here at MC.
“Regardless of what’s going on in groups of teachers or whatever the bottom concern is, everyone really wants what’s best for students,” Faulk said.
Mrs. Thomas had a similar response.
“I think that the staff here really care about each student succeeding individually in their own way. In other schools that I’ve been to, it feels to me like they want them to succeed because it makes the school look good,” Thomas said.
“Here, I genuinely get the feeling that they want to do it so the student can succeed.”
Both librarians are looking at their retirement as a new chapter in their lives and Mrs. Faulk doesn’t necessarily view leaving MC as a sad thing.
“I just feel like this chapter is ending, and a new chapter is beginning. I’m ready to live and write that next chapter. There’s no loss, it’s just being grateful for the opportunity to experience what life is like here,” Faulk said.
What she will miss the most is book talks with students.
“You have the people that love to read and know what book they want, but then you have the kids that are just zombies. […] Getting the kids that said ‘I hate reading’- I just needed one of them. I would put a book in their hand and see their expression change from zombie to… “what?” Faulk said.
Mrs. Thomas explained that one of her favorite parts of working at MC was seeing students grow and mature.
“In high school, kids are ready to take on the world and they’re starting to mature and take on responsibility for themselves. It’s fun to see that growth as they mature from freshmen to seniors. It’s a huge, huge growth curve there” Thomas said.
The legacy that these teachers have created will continue long after they are gone.