RHS Teacher Mrs. Fleming to Retire Jan. 21

Mrs. Fleming in her sewing class. Left to right are: Vianna Andrade, Shamara Caddeus, Mrs. Fleming, Sara Yalenezian, Teddy Panagiotidis and Kaitlyn Roche.

Mrs. Fleming in her sewing class. Left to right are: Vianna Andrade, Shamara Caddeus, Mrs. Fleming, Sara Yalenezian, Teddy Panagiotidis and Kaitlyn Roche.

Ronan McNally, Veritas Staff

This year has brought in many new teachers, whom the school greets with open arms. As we welcome new teachers to RHS, we must say goodbye to one in particular.

Mrs. Fleming, who has been teaching for thirty two years, is retiring this year at the end of the semester. As the Family and Consumer Science teacher, she has introduced many students to the fields of Culinary Arts and sewing. In college, Mrs. Fleming studied Home Economics education for four years, soon finding a career in the area later.

Mrs. Fleming’s class, Family and Consumer Science, has taught students the value and skills of cooking and sewing. But her class teaches much more than preparing meals and mending clothes. Students also learn how to work together, and feel what it is like to create a product of their own.

Logan Murphy, a junior who has been in her class for three years, says, “Every class felt like students were really working together and achieving a perfect final product. To learn that lesson as a teenager is priceless.”

Mrs. Fleming has been a Bulldog at RHS for years. Generations of students at RHS have turned their ovens on to 400 degrees with the guidance of Mrs. Fleming’s instructions, and watched her make many meals during her demonstrations (referred to as demos), where students could often get samples.

One sample shared among her classes for years is chocolate chip cookies.

This recipe has marked the beginning of school for her cooking classes for years. Just think, her classes made cookies the year Forrest Gump came out in 1994. When the First Generation Ipod came out in 2001, there were cookies. When the middle school and high school were under construction, there were cookies and this year’s Family and Consumer Science students were treated to the same recipe.

Collectively, Mrs. Fleming’s classes have made hundreds, maybe thousands of cookies.

Ever had a calzone? A video tutorial on making calzones featuring Mr. Graziano gives a hint to the comical side of Mrs. Fleming as Mr. Graziano is heard telling the students that Mrs. Fleming considered him “quite a catch” when he first started teaching. She is heard to say it was the opposite.

Another memorable moment occurred when two girls decided to turn on the television in the cooking room to watch a talk show. The show that day featured the Chippendale dancers. This is when Mrs. Fleming walked in. She told the girls that they shouldn’t be watching the TV, and just as she did, the principal, A. Scott MacKinlay, entered the room to see her and two students watching the Chippendale dancers on the school television.

Mrs. Fleming says one of her proudest moments came two years ago when Tim Souza, a former student, was inducted into Rockland’s Academic Hall of Fame. Souza is an accomplished chef and restaurant owner on Cape Cod.

Another former student, Chris Burnieika, said, “I have known Mrs. Fleming Since 2000. She and I used to make apple pies and bring them to the homeless shelter in Brockton. Mrs. Fleming will be truly missed, especially the monkey bread she makes.”

For years Mrs. Fleming has taken students to the Cancer Center in Weymouth where they donated comfort pillows for the cancer patients who are going through treatment.

As Mrs. Fleming nears retirement, a search for a new Family and Consumer Science teacher will begin. It will be a difficult task to replace a teacher who has made connections to students, even families of students.

“I hope the new teacher is as talented, honorable, and memorable as Mrs. Fleming: although I believe [anyone] will pale in comparison,” said Murphy.

Mrs. Fleming has grown roots into RHS’s soil. To Mrs. Fleming, the Veritas has these parting words, “Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog,” and may your retirement be as memorable as your career at RHS.


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