Students sing their farewell to fifth grade teacher Jay Westphalen

Jay Westphalen - Cali Bagby
Jay Westphalen
— image credit: Cali Bagby

Beach balls fly in the air and Friday Harbor elementary students sing “Surfin’ USA” to celebrate Jay Westphalen, who is a Beach Boys fan and originally from California

After 33 years of teaching third grade through sixth grade on San Juan Island, Westphalen is retiring.

President of the Student Council and sixth grader,  Hannah Hopkins said Westphalen was her favorite teacher.

“I wish he was coming to the middle school next year,” she said.

For Westphalen the future is full of possibilities.

“I don’t know what’s next,” Westphalen said.

He does plan on traveling, spending more time with his family and fine-tuning his guitar playing skills.

“I’ve really enjoyed the last  few years of teaching and the people I worked with,” he said. “But it’s time.”

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