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Vera Tanas

Darci Witthoft stands in front of a board in her classroom

Darci Witthoft

Although Darci Witthoft was planning on becoming a journalist, she ended up as a teacher at West High. While she’s been an English teacher at West for 23 years, she has also worked at Mason City High School and Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids.

However, she stayed at West because of the students and the different experiences each year.

“What I love about teaching in general, is just the idea that every year is a new beginning…Even if you’re teaching the same text, you can experiment with new ways of approaching it, and you never get bored. I think that’s what’s kept me going for the last 32 years,” said Witthoft.

The biggest thing she will miss about teaching is interacting with students every day.

“I will definitely miss students. You guys are amazing. You make us want to show up and want to be present and want to be better. And I’m so grateful for that,” Witthoft said.

Perhaps the thing she is most known for is her daily mindful moments which allow students to take a minute to pause and reflect. She uses this in her own life and plans to continue focusing on mindfulness during retirement.

“I just really want to practice what I preach, which is being more present, and just taking the time to enjoy the little things in life,” said Witthoft.

Witthoft hopes students will take her mindful moments to heart and practice being present.

“As we move forward, there are so many things competing with your attention, and you’ve got to, within yourself, maintain a sense of intellectual curiosity. And when you do that, I think things fall into place. Put away your phones, take out your AirPods, and be present.”

Click here to learn more about Witthoft.

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