Retirement Profile: Gretchen Calhoun

Gretchen Calhoun, AHS Geography and History teacher of 12 years, recently decided to retire from her position.

Calhoun started working at AHS in 2008 as a Geography teacher. Before coming to AHS, she worked for the National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz. Then, in 2000, she began her teaching career and taught in both California and Denver before coming to Aspen. During her career at AHS, Gretchen has taught Civics, American History, Modern World History, World Religions, Introduction to Philosophy, Modern World Issues, and IB Film; however, her primary course has always been Geography. Aside from her teaching career at Aspen, in 2009, Gretchen created a new ExEd course called Hiking from San Francisco to Point Reyes.

Her eventful quarantine is what ultimately led to her retirement. On March 18, 2020, Calhoun got married at the Pitkin County Courthouse. Then on March 20, 2020, she contracted the Coronavirus and fell ill. In addition, to getting sick and married, her husband was hospitalized about a week after she got COVID-19 and her mother had a stroke about two weeks after her husband had been hospitalized. After realizing that remote learning may continue into next year, combined with her busy quarantine, Calhoun thought that it would be best for her to retire.

In the future, Gretchen wants to focus more on her personal life.

“I hope to remodel our place in Aspen, maybe get a dog, and see what I might do to help our local/national/global community. If I had a wish it would be to expand Americorps so that students can get experience rebuilding America before continuing their studies.” Calhoun stated.

When asked what she would miss most about Aspen High School, Calhoun stated that she would miss the students the most.

“To all the students who had me in class, I say, ” I love you. I believe in your generation and the world will be better because of you!” Calhoun said.