Farewell, Ms. Fitts!


Meris Childs, Staff Writer

This year one of our most beloved PCS teachers, Ms. Lauren Fitts, an eighth- and ninth-grade history teacher, will be moving to Portland, Oregon. She has been a full-time teacher at PCS for one-and-a-half years and a substitute teacher at Gateway before that. Even with her short stay at PCS she has managed to help each and every one of her students, especially through this difficult year. I put together an interview to get her perspective and thoughts on leaving Santa Cruz and continuing a new chapter of her life in Portland.

What are you most excited for about moving to Portland?
I’m excited to see my family! My little sister and I are extremely close and because of Covid I haven’t seen her in a year and a half, so that’s definitely going to be a very tearful reunion. I miss my sister like crazy so that’s one of the things I’m very excited about. Also, my grandparents and my brother are out there so I can’t wait to see them.

What is your most memorable story at PCS?
I think the most memorable, and this will probably go for a lot of people, was the moment that we were told that the school was closing for Covid. I remember vividly the staff meeting being so emotional, some of us breaking down. Then fourth period rolled around and I had my eighth graders. I was trying to keep it together and I was just looking at all of my kids thinking “Oh my god I’m going to miss you all so much!” And then Ms. Silva comes in with her eighth graders and they give me this huge card that they all signed and I just lose it. So I dropped everything I was going to do for that day and I just turned to my class and was like “We’re just gonna watch Hercules and were just gonna be together before we have to go away”

What will you miss most about PCS?
I can’t say just one thing. I am going to miss the kids most of all–all of my students past and present. I’m gonna miss the staff. I’m gonna miss just the feeling and community. Which is why the departure is so hard because I’m really into the culture at PCS.

What will you miss most about Santa Cruz?
I’ m definitely going to miss my wife’s parents. It sounds odd but they’re kind of like our best friends. Each place has their own feel, their own culture so I’m definitely going to miss the Santa Cruz feel, the surfers, downtown, the different pockets of communities and stuff like that. One of my students asked me this question and I said Taqueria Vallarta.

What will you be teaching in Oregon?
I’m going to be teaching seventh and eighth grade history at Baker Prarie Middle School.

What has been the hardest part of this transition so far?
Honestly saying goodbye to all of you, that has been the hardest part. My wife and I have been together for over four years and have been married for two and this is our fifth move, so we are not new to moving. But this time has been a lot different because this is the school my wife went to, and it’s full of people that I’ve known for a very long time, kids that I’ve known since teaching at Gateway. There’s a lot of history here, a lot of emotional ties. And the relationships here that I’ve established with the kids, and the relationships I’ve established with the staff are very strong and so leaving that is quite heartbreaking.