It is with a mixture of sadness and extreme gratitude that the most beloved foreign language teacher in the history of Baltimore School for the Arts, Michael Tabegna, is retiring at the conclusion of this 2019-2020 school year. Known by some as Monsieur and others as Senor, Mr. Tabegna will be leaving a legacy filled with accolades about his dedication to students, this school community and his enduring passion for language. Few teachers have earned the unmatched respect of their colleagues and their students the way Mr. Tabegna has in his nearly 40 years of service to BSA.
After graduating from West Chester University in 1980 and teaching briefly on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Mr. Tabegna arrived at BSA in 1982. He taught French until 2004 when the school transitioned to Spanish language instruction. As is consistent with his deftness as a teacher and unmatched language aptitude, Mr. Tabegna took on the task of learning a new language with preparatory stints in both Spain and Mexico.
As educators, our mark on the world is realized through the words of those who sat in our classes, experienced the personas we created, and ultimately walked out of the room with new passions, new understandings, and a belief that one of our primary jobs is to impart knowledge but also kindness and empathy. Below are comments BSA alumni have shared about Mr. Tabegna and his lasting impact on their lives.
May all the years of hard work, dedication, and devotion to the young people of this community and this school live on while you enjoy a much-deserved retirement.
“ You have been a powerful role model and fantastic teacher. We all wanted to be excellent because of your great expectation. You will be greatly missed but we will be your great legacy!”
“….thank you for being one of the most influential teachers that I have ever known. It isn’t often that 20 years later, you can still talk about exact moments and assignments from a class. You have left such a wonderful mark on my life, as I am sure many others can agree.”
“You are such a phenomenal teacher. Thank you so very much for the tremendous effort you put forth into making learning fun and effective. French was a language I had no interest in learning. Now it’s a language I love”
“No one cared as much as you about your work, about language, or about the students, and that’s evident in how much your students loved you and learned from you”
“You are the best teacher I ever had and I think of you so often. My french remains in my brain and on my lips because of you. At almost 37 I can still speak french (pseudo) fluently. My love for the language and culture stemmed from your daily excitement and joy.”