The Clarion

Saying Goodbye: Mr. Babiarz to Retire After 36 Years in Education

By SAROJ KHANOLKAR

Mr. Babiarz, who has served as principal of Selma High since 2005, is wrapping up his final year as he prepares to retire.

“It will be hard to leave the staff and students at Selma High, as they make up what is great about the school,” said Mr. Babiarz. “After working in education for 36 years, the day-to-day interactions with adults and students will be missed.”

For the past 13 years, Mr. Babiraz has been serving as principal at SHS. He was first hired at Selma High back in 1985, as a band and social studies teacher.

“That was before most of the staff and all of the students were born, so SHS has changed over the years,” explained Mr. Babiarz. “When I was hired as principal in 2005, it was a honor to work again at Selma High with many of the staff I had been with as a teacher. Now there are about three staff members left from when I taught in the 1980’s, but change is always good for any organization.”

Selma High has evolved very much since Babiarz’s early days here. From student population, to teaching staff, to construction around campus, Babiarz has witnessed various positive changes which he attributes to the outstanding staff and students at SHS.

“I have seen the student body grow in numbers,” said Babiarz. “I have witnessed a teaching staff move from a veteran staff to a much younger staff overall.  I have watched new construction with classrooms, dining hall, and the pool complex. I have watched awards received including the California Distinguished School Award, AP Honor award, PBIS Awards, and test scores that continue to outperform similar schools throughout the state.”

For Babiarz, losing the connections he shared with the staff and students he saw on an everyday basis will be a difficult loss.

“Many of the staff became more than peers to work with,” explained Babiarz. “They became friends that I have been able to visit with for many years.”

Although there have been numerous challenging moments throughout Babiarz’s tenure, the most challenging moments have often presented themselves to be the most rewarding, as they allowed for the staff and students to work through demanding issues together for the betterment of all at SHS.

Moving onto the next phase of his life will entail spending time with loved ones and thoroughly enjoying life.

“Having never retired before, I do not know what the day-to-day holds for me, especially in August when I would be starting school,” stated Mr. Babiarz. “My wife and I plan to travel some, have fun with our granddaughter, bike ride, play pickleball, kayak, sit on our front patio when we want to and more.”

However, he wants staff and students to know that Bear Nation “will always remain a special place for me and my family, along with the community of Selma.”