A Friend of Mind for Mrs. Paulinski


Anne Mendis, Class of 2014

“She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good; you know when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” -Toni Morrison

This quote by Toni Morrison truly examples the extraordinary character Mrs. Paulinski has as a educator and as a friend. Throughout my senior year, she has gone above and beyond to teach abstract concepts and ideas in her AP Literature and Composition class. She truly was a life-saver when it came to writing and editing college essays, especially for me. I found myself lost and confused as how to fashion myself into an essay for colleges to read. Mrs. Paulinski truly became a “friend of mind”. She really made me dig deep and explore the boundaries of my mind to see what truly defined me as person. She helped me to see myself in a different light and to overcome the obstacles of my past for a brighter future. She truly enlightened me to write an essay that captured who I am. I can say it’s because of her that I realized the full potential I have to achieve my future aspirations. The ability to realize that potential is truly the greatest gift any teacher has given to me during my six years at Floral Park Memorial High School.

I am truly grateful and blessed to have had Mrs. Paulinski as teacher this year. She truly inspires me in every way. With her wittiness and hilarious sarcasm, as well as her vivacious attitude, she created a warm and friendly atmosphere in the classroom. I really admired how much Mrs. Paulinski really respected the values, opinions, and ideas of her students. She never viewed us the “technology-crazed”, “dumb-downed” kids that our parents and other adults make us out to be. She kept conversation alive and really spoke to us as the young adults we are.

It really saddens me that Mrs.Paulinski is retiring this year. She will certainly be missed by her students, her fellow English teachers, and all of FPM, especially for her kind smile, fabulous humor, and most of all her ability to be a true friend. I know that even after Mrs. Paulinski retires, she will still continue to inspire, motivate, and influence individuals anywhere she goes.

Mrs. Barbara Paulinski will retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year, having served the Floral Park Memorial community, as both a phenomenal English teacher and as the adviser of The Shield, since 1993. Approximately, five years ago, The Shield established a website on which the school newspaper was able to be accessed. About three years ago, The Shield became the first and only school newspaper in the district to be a completely digital publication. Next year, Mr. Simone, Social Studies teacher, will assume the advisership.