A Farewell to Professor Katherine Vellis

Melaina Lawrence

Ashley Velazquez

Staff Writers

Before College Academy, I knew I loved reading. I knew a good story could transform my day, I knew adventures could distract me from real life, and I knew I loved words. That was that. However, what I did not know was how much I’d grow to love writing and telling my own tales. Before coming to College Academy, stories had lived only in my head; I wasn’t quite sure how to put them to paper. Taking my first English class here, ENC1101, with Professor Vellis quite literally changed my life. I clearly remember being up the night before it was due trying to perfect my “Comparison and Contrast” essay because I wasn’t sure if my writing was up to the college level. What I remember more clearly, though, was the 100% I received and how it amused me so much I wanted my major to be Literature and to live in a small cottage in Europe and write forever.

However, our story is not unique. In Professor Vellis’ time here at College Academy, she has touched the hearts of all fortunate enough to have been under her wing and guidance. 

She inspired us.

“Professor Vellis is the perfect embodiment of what a great teacher actually is. She acknowledged our efforts and encouraged us to be great in every area, not just English. And, for that, we’ll forever appreciate her,” said Rayna Harvey (Class of 2024).

She supported us. 

“She pushed us, but always made sure we felt comfortable with the progress. At the end of the semester, we all realized just how far she had taken us without us feeling overwhelmed,” said Bella Wong (Class of 2024).

She nurtured us. 

“Ms. Vellis was super nice and sweet towards me. She pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me be organized in completing my assignments and other work for each of my classes. I truly appreciated her for taking the time to help me improve my writing. I feel that I’m a stronger writer thanks to her critiques. I don’t know any other English teacher who would take the time to do that. Thank you so much Ms. Vellis,” said Abigail Varghese (Class of 2024).

She understood us. 

“She recognized everyone’s individual writing styles and allowed us to write about our passions,” said Abigail Poulin (Class of 2024).

She invigorated us. 

“Professor Vellis was among the most encouraging and liberating people I’ve ever met,” said Angie Mejia (Class of 2024). 

She emboldened us. 

“Professor Vellis was the first English educator who allowed me to come out of my comfort zone creatively,” said Nya Hitchman (Class of 2023).

She transformed us. 

I wish to thank her for helping me become the student I am today. We love you, Ms. Vellis,” said Thalia Dadanala (Class of 2023). 

Though, most of all, she valued us; and we will forever value her.

You saw us as whining school boys with our satchel and shining morning face, and now we are justices, full of wise saws and modern instances. 

Now that you’re retired we hope your greatest worry is whether to read or not to read. 

Though, we know that is not even a question.

Professor Katherine Vellis