Remembering ETHS: Debra Mohica

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Photo provided by Debra Mohica

Sydney Ter Molen, Staff Writer

Student Supports Program Assistant Debra Mohica retired this year after working at ETHS for 32 years. Mohica took on a variety of different roles at ETHS. She worked for the Student Services Department, the Summer School program and for the director of Evening High School. The majority of Mohica’s time was spent working with the Steps for Academic Excellence (STAE) and AVID programs. 

“I feel very fortunate to have spent a majority of my career at ETHS interacting with the students – they were the best part of my job and what I will miss most,” Mohica said. 

Mohica’s favorite memory at ETHS was at a field trip with STAE juniors at Valparaiso University. Her class sat in on a college class. 

“One of our students immediately joined in on the discussion, asking questions and offering his input on the topic. Not only did he make his fellow Wildkits proud, he left quite an impression on the Valpo students and professor.”

When Mohica retired at the end of the 2019, her memories of students was central to her reflection.

“I left knowing that I made a difference in many students’ lives and that I was someone the students knew they could count on and trust,” Mohica said. “I offered a welcoming, safe space for students where there was no judgement, just a place where they could come and be themselves.”

STAE Coordinator and English teacher Stacey Nord Hamilton remembers Mohica as a crucial member of the STAE and AVID programs.

“Debbie Mohica was an essential part of growing the ETHS support programs, specifically STAE and AVID.  Without her leadership, guidance, and insight far fewer students would be supported,” Nord Hamilton said. “For decades she was the first voice families and students spoke to when being welcomed into STAE and AVID.  In the last 13 years, I have seen her invaluable assistance to at least eight different coordinators as she helped us navigate into new positions.  STAE and AVID would not have created their positive impact and change in achievement without Debbie.”

Since retiring, Mohica has kept busy. She joined a choir, has been volunteering at a local food bank and has been learning new language. She also plans to join a training program to become a yoga instructor.