Featured Kennedy Teacher: Madame Bourtoul

By Aaron Soliz, Clarion Staff

Madame Gayle Bourtoul has been teaching French at Kennedy for about 19 years. This year will mark the last year that Bourtoul will be teaching at our school, as she is retiring at end of this 2016-17 school year. Fortunately, The Clarion was able to interview this wonderful teacher before that happens.

Not commonly known, Bourtoul was a junior at Kennedy in 1968, when the campus first opened. She was a very prideful, joyful, and active student. She was in several extracurricular clubs such as chess club and art club. Bourtoul was also in the Pride Committee and the Cougarettes, and she even acted in plays at the school. In addition, she was in both the synchronized swimming team and the tennis team.

When her parents sent her to Hawaii, Bourtoul grew to love traveling. After residing in Sacramento City for two years, she received many job offers from charter companies and British cruise lines, which prompted her to travel more. She lived in France for seven years before coming back to teach French at Kennedy in 1998. Bourtoul originally taught both French and English until the French foreign language offerings increased. She also played competitive tennis for some time.

When asked what the best part about being a part of the campus, Bourtoul confidently answered, “The kids, for sure.”

Bourtoul stressed that retirement is “bittersweet” for her. “Yes, I’m retiring. Hoorah. But I will miss teaching the kids.” She will miss the campus, but can rejoice to the fact that she will not have to work as hard as she does and will have more time for personal interests, such as art and sculpting.

You are an amazing teacher, Madame Bourtoul. The effort that you put into your students has not gone unnoticed. John F. Kennedy High School will miss you and your positive energy very much. Thank you for all you have done, and we wish you the best for the future. Nous apprécions vous beaucoup.

Photo by Aaron Solis


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