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Meet Ms. Marks

I want to introduce you to a luminary of our district.  A person who for the past twenty-five years has graced our school with her professionalism, and tireless effort to educate the children of Vallejo.  Virginia Marks currently teaches second grade here at Federal Terrace.  During her time here, she has also taught first, third, and a couple of combination grade classes.  She has also selflessly served as master teacher, mentor, coach and friend to many.

Ms. Marks is someone who sees and believes in the infinite possibility in every person she meets.  She sets high expectations for her students and expects her students to achieve.  She provides the individual support they each need to meet her goals.   Her classroom is a print rich welcoming oasis for our young students.  A visitor once described her classroom as so welcoming that you could almost feel a hug and I love you as you walk in.    Our students’ happy smiley faces and her beautiful classroom environment is evidence of the dedication she has poured into her life’s work.  Virginia Marks came to Federal Terrace Elementary, first to our preschool in July of 1995.  She joined the K-5 elementary side of our school in February of 1996.  She came to our district with fifteen years’ experience running a preschool.  Mrs. Marks is an amazing gifted, teacher.  She is the teacher every parent wants his or her child to have.

For the staff of Federal Terrace Gini, as we call her, is our rock.  She is the matriarch of our site.  When things are not going well for us adults, she is the voice we all seek out.  She is the mom that will provide answers, comfort, and unconditional love.  For our new teachers she is a mentor.  For our mid-career teachers she is a coach, someone to share struggles, and successes with.  For some of us she is the voice of experience, common sense, and friendly guidance.  She is that calm, levelheaded role model that we can only someday aspire be.  Sadly, Gini has decided that school year 2019-2020 is her final year in the classroom.  After twenty-five years in the classroom, and having positively touched the lives of well over 650 students, Gini is retiring.

While it is sad to lose her on the day-to-day level, I know that in retirement she will still be around.  Gini will be back!  She promises to become an ELPAC tester, substitute for us, and she says she is only a phone call away.   Before she comes back, however, she is going to take a break to travel with her sister.  First stop for the pair will be Paris in October.  She is going to further explore her artistic side by joining Arts Benicia, and continue making her amazing quilts.  For those of us who remain at Federal Terrace, there will forever be an unfillable void.  We thank her for her dedication to the work.  We thank her for everything.

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