Leaving An Impact

French teacher and musical director Lisa Honz is retiring from Windsor after 22 years at the school.


Honz has been the musical director for the past 19 years.

Connor Blake, Staff Writer

Madame Honz is officially retiring from teaching.

For 22 years, Lisa Honz has taught French as well as being involved in musicals for 19 years. Her musicals included a variety of shows, including Footloose this year. 

She got her first teaching job in 1987 where she taught at Mehlville until 1991, between that and when she started teaching at Windsor in 2001, she was a stay at home mom.

The reason Madame started teaching was because of the teachers that surrounded her growing up, and she originally planned to be an elementary teacher.

“I had wonderful teachers growing up.  At first, I thought I would become an elementary school teacher.  We had a class in high school called ‘Cadet teaching’ where we would be an aide for a teacher in the district and get credit. I aided for my old kindergarten teacher and realized that elementary was not for me,” Honz said. 

She first wanted to be a math teacher since she majored in math, but soon realized that she wanted to teach French, which she also majored in.

She started taking French classes in her sophomore year of high school.

“I only had three years before becoming an exchange student.  My college held my academic scholarships for a year while I was abroad, repeating my senior year of high school in France.  since I already had my American high school diploma.  I wasn’t under the stress that French students had–they have to pass a national exam in order to graduate from high school,” Honz said.

Throughout her career at Windsor, she has looked up to many teachers and formed her own way of teaching.

Honz said, “There are a lot of great teachers I have met in my life that I admire.  I never liked being bored in a class, and I strive to keep my own students guessing, ‘What is this crazy lady going to do today?’ ”

Many students’ paths have been changed thanks to Madame. 

She left a real impact on the students that she has taught.

“The students that have been given the privilege of joining her class are put into a classroom where the dynamic isn’t student to other classmates to teacher, it’s a lifelong familial type bond that is created out of mutual respect and genuine care that has been given from Madame Honz to her students and that is then encouraged in her classroom and embraced by all of the individuals that enter the room,” senior Madison Crump said. 

The idea of retirement came almost out of nowhere.

She has a lot she wants to do.

“I can do anything I want, spend time with my 91 year old father, visit my grandson in Fargo,  hang out at my cabin in Potosi,” Honz said.  

Madame Honz is an educator unlike any other, and Windsor will miss her very much and feel her absence. 

Honz said, “I’ve truly enjoyed my years here at Windsor and appreciated the freedom to teach French using my own curriculum, creating a culture of learning in my classroom.  I am extremely proud to have been recognized nationally by the American Association of Teachers of French for growing a program from just two classes.  I also have enjoyed being involved with the musical for 19 years.”