A Running Legend Retires


Claire Nelson, Staff Writer

Maybe you’ve seen her walking the hallways or going for a run on the track after school. Maybe you’ve even been lucky enough to have her as a teacher for Spanish 1 or Spanish 4 Honors. Regardless, Ms. Isabeau has been in Village 3 for 34 years and if you haven’t met her… you’re missing out.

It’s always a fun time in Ms. Isabeau’s classroom. Between her charming humor, snarky remarks, and mastery of the Spanish language, you’re always in for an entertaining class. Though her homework might weigh you down each week, she more than makes up for it with fun trips to places like the Mission District in San Francisco and projects such as “Creating Your Own Telenovela” (in which students film their own soap opera).


Was teaching always the plan?

“Yes, since elementary school I was sure I wanted to be a teacher,” comes the easy response. However, she had not figured out what she would teach until she fell in love with Spanish at her alma mater, El Molino High School. By college, she realized her paths were limited to two options (bilingual educationalist or teacher) and chose teaching. Ms. Isabeau says that the best part of her job is the students. She loves meeting them and enjoys their differing personalities. Grading their homework, though, is another story. She loathes it, claiming that “It’s like constantly having homework.” Hm, wonder what that’s like…  


In addition to teaching, Ms. Isabeau was also the cross country coach for 20 years and the track coach for 6 years. She won numerous SCL and NCS titles and even brought a group of girls to Hawaii for an invitational. She stopped coaching when it became too much work to balance along with teaching full time, but she thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. She still tries to run after school daily.


Why did you start running?

“After I started teaching, I decided that I needed something to keep me in shape – someone encouraged me, and once I started, I just kept going from there.”


Don’t you find running boring or difficult sometimes?

“It’s not so bad once you start. It helps me clear my head. It is also one of the easiest sports to do. You can run anywhere. You don’t need teammates or equipment – if you have a pair of shoes you can run anywhere.”


What is the farthest you have ever ran?

“I have run 3 marathons, so the farthest would be 26. 2 miles”


After about three and a half decades of teaching, this amazing individual feels that it is her time to move on to the next chapter of her life. Ms. Isabeau compares her last year teaching at Analy to living the life of a senior: “One day I feel sad and emotional, thinking about memories I’ve made, but the next day I can’t wait to leave. I’m done. I can’t wait to get out of here.” If that’s not relatable then I don’t know what is.