Natasha Gutierrez

Retiring this year, Sears will leave a mark on the FHS library and all who have gotten to know her.

Mary Jo Sears

Behind every book checkout is a librarian hoping each person that walks in will walk out with a love for reading and a passion to look deeper. Librarian Mary Jo Sears will be leaving FHS after 22 years of helping students “see a bigger world and open their minds to ideas beyond themselves,” said Sears, through books.
Sears moved to Virginia when she was married 27 years ago. “I am from a small town and I liked the small town vibe here,” said Sears. Outside of reading she enjoys going to the beach, skiing, hiking and travel. She also ran the Falcons for Change club.
Sears received her undergraduate degree from Mary Washington and her graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University Longwood. She started teaching English in 1994 at FHS. In 2008 she moved to the library position after spending a few years at other schools. She is retiring this year to “see what else is out there for me. I feel like I need a change and this is a good time for me to explore other options,” said Sears.
One of her fondest memories in the library was 23 year ago when her daughter came early, but she wasn’t done with her sub plans yet. “I sat at my desk in labor trying to come up with eight weeks of lessons while in labor. That was surreal. I never did finish them,” said Sears.
Both of Sears’s children graduated from FHS, so she has felt a special connection with the school. She has enjoyed getting to know all of the people at FHS and will miss the friends she has made. FHS “has felt like an extension of my family. There will always be a place in my heart for FHS.”
Sears leaves new teachers with this, “No matter how difficult or even rotten a child can be, you have to remember that someone in this world loves that person. Honor that love in the student.”

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