The last Monday for Mueller

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The last Monday for Mueller

Mueller posed for a picture by the EE building.

Mueller posed for a picture by the EE building.

Kaylee Howell

Mueller posed for a picture by the EE building.

Kaylee Howell

Kaylee Howell

Mueller posed for a picture by the EE building.

Kaylee Howell, Staff Writer

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Kay Mueller, VMHS’s beloved fashion teacher, is retiring after spending 35 years in education. Mueller has brought a unique opportunity for the creative minds at Vista: the ability to pursue their unconventional dreams without risking everything. She has repeatedly expressed her passion for fashion, often bringing an optimistic and encouraging spirit to the classroom. Her students and peers have only good things to say about her.  

Drea Roberts ‘19, has been a dedicated fashion student for the past three years. She described Ms. Mueller as “a mother to us all. Like she–I don’t want to get too personal–but to Ms. Mueller we’re all her children. She doesn’t have any kids of her own so any kid that walks into the fashion program really gets the comfort of a nurturing, homey, and caring environment. Ms. Mueller makes us all feel loved and accepted no matter how different or crazy any of us are. She has been such a big inspiration and role model for each and every one of us. Someone we confide in. Someone we find comfort in. Someone that gives us–people that feel like they don’t have great homes a home…” 

Kaina Thomas, ‘23, shared, “Ms. Mueller has changed my life because she taught me about sensitivity and growth. She’s just always been there for me. She’s that kind of teacher. She’s always been that teacher that I go to talk to. She’s always been that teacher that helps me–us out.” 

Another student, Revan Lyles, ‘23, also has kind words to share.  

“Ms. Mueller is that kind of teacher that’s your mom… at school. She cares about you and actually wants to know how you feel and ask you about your day. She’s just a super positive and welcoming teacher.” 

Mueller reciprocates the love her students show for her. When asked what the favorite part of her job is, Mueller responds, “[a]lways my students–just being with my students. And watching their passion for the subject grow… Just watching them get excited about making things.” 

As much as she loves her job, however, Mueller still feels as though it’s time for her to retire. 

“I still love my job very much, and that’s why it is time for me to retire because I would never want to be the type of teacher that got lazy or complacent or grumpy or bitter towards their job or their students.  So, I wanted to leave on a good, happy note. I’ve been in education for 35 years, so it’s time,” she laughs. 

Although Mueller has developed such close connections with her students and love for her career, she looks forward to pursuing new adventures after retirement. Mueller says that she has a passion for interior design and looks forward to doing some HGTV remodeling on her home. As a fashion teacher, Mueller is often the one encouraging students to pursue their dreams, but now has opportunity to pursue her own. Mueller is also excited about training for triathlons, indulging in hot yoga, and finally reading for joy instead of grading papers. 

Mueller believes that the upcoming fashion programs will be in good hands next year, claiming that the new teacher seems fit for the job. For incoming fashion students, Mueller offers a few words of advice. 

In the design world, it’s really important to practice at home as well and just take in all the knowledge you can about how to produce garments and put your designs into real life while you have someone to help you do that because then it’s so much easier then–you know–watching YouTube videos. We have all the equipment in here to basically make whatever your mind can dream up! 

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