Clare Kelly (Delgado)

As the end of the school year approaches, it is time to highlight the careers and important achievements of the staff members who have announced their retirement. One of those teachers is Clare Delgado, a Spanish teacher and an ETHS alumn, who has worked at ETHS for 30 years.

Over the course of her teaching career, Delgado has taken on multiple roles and responsibilities within the school. Besides teaching Spanish for various class levels, she has taught French and worked with the debate team for several years. In more recent years, Delgado has been working on promoting Spanish at school. This included starting a Spanish language debate team, as well as running a Spanish language column in the Evanstonian. The first ever Spanish language state debate tournament was set to take place at ETHS in 2020. Even in retirement, Delgado would like to continue to visit ETHS and work with her debate team.

“I hope to come back a lot. I hope to continue working with the debate team in the future. I really hope to develop the Spanish language debate,” Delgado explained. “I think [the debate competitions] have been an amazing opportunity for our Spanish speakers or heritage learning students to participate in debate in Spanish as well as promoting the Spanish language and valuing the Spanish language.”

For all the new staff members at ETHS, Delgado advises them to develop their own style of instruction.

“I tell new teachers to really make it a point to enjoy and have fun teaching. Really find what makes it special for them. Realize that teaching is an art and don’t try to follow any sort of scripted approaches. [Instead they should] really find out what’s special to them, what they love about teaching and really develop that aspect,” Delgado said.

For students to get the most out of their time at school, Delgado thinks that they should try as much as possible to be present in class. That means putting their phone away and focusing on the interactions with other students and teachers in the room.

“It makes the class more enjoyable and it makes your learning experience much richer. Put the phone away and be 100% there in class,” Delgado emphasized.

ETHS is a special place to many, and that is evident to Delgado, who appreciates both the students and the staff for their contributions to the learning environment.

“I’d say what makes ETHS super special and unique are the students and my colleagues. We have just a really wonderful, diverse student body, lovely students, I thoroughly enjoy them. I also think we have the most amazing teaching staff here who are really inspiring and enjoyable to be with. This is really my second home,” Delgado reflected. 

Even though Delgado is retiring from teaching, the memories of all the good times with her students will stick with her.

“I have so many wonderful memories of being in class and laughing with my students,” Delgado reminisced. “They make me happy and they make me laugh. I’m going to miss them tremendously.”

Although Delgado will be officially retired from the teaching staff at ETHS, that does not mean that she will cut all ties to the school. In addition to working with Spanish language debate, Delgado wants to focus on youth activism. Aside from her teaching and leading positions inside of school, she is also the First Ward alder, and as a part of that job she wants to incorporate student democracy into her work. 

“I really want a stronger youth voice in our local government so I hope to be coming back to the high school often to reach out to have students participate in our democratic process in Evanston. I think their voices are so important, to really help make Evanston a place that we all want it to be,” concluded Delgado.