Longtime Edina social studies teacher Heidi Mathers retires

Griffith Pugh, online manager

Heidi Mathers, a longtime social studies teacher at Edina High School, is retiring at the end of this school year. Mathers is in her 18th year at EHS and teaches AP World History and AP Psychology. Out of college, she initially worked as a vocational counselor at the Department of Labor. She knew, however, that she wanted to become an educator. “It was so awesome when I got hired at Edina,” Mathers said. “They were specifically looking for a psychology teacher, and that was my background.”

Over a nearly two-decade career at Edina, Mathers credited the social studies department for working so well as a team. “I really love my department. We’re just really supportive. It’s so great,” Mathers said. She also acknowledged her students to always be the high point of her job. “They’re so polite. That’s rare these days,” she said. 

Reflecting back, Mathers feels EHS has changed for the better since she began. “The integration of technology into education has been an enormous benefit. The school has also become much more diverse and inclusive in many ways,” Mathers said.   

Mathers is ready to move onto the next chapter in her life. “My husband is retired and it was just the right time. I’m going out working hard. I loved my job and still do, and I never want to get to a point where I don’t. I’m so glad I get to retire in a year that’s back to normal,” Mathers said. Post-retirement, Mathers is looking forward to traveling with her family, reading, and focusing on some volunteer work. 

Her advice to new teachers is to “just be yourself.” “Lots of times new teachers feel they need to be a certain way, but you’re gonna get the best results being authentic to who you are,” Mathers said. “I have loved teaching at Edina High School and am so thankful to have spent most of my career here.”

This piece was originally published in Zephyrus’ print edition on May 18, 2023.