The Black & White

Whitman’s best group of amigas

The+Spanish+teachers+are+very+close+friends+and+often+hang+out+together+outside+of+school.+The+group+has+gone+to+concerts%2C+marches+and+dinners+together.+Photo+courtesy+Kathleen+Bartels.
The Spanish teachers are very close friends and often hang out together outside of school. The group has gone to concerts, marches and dinners together. Photo courtesy Kathleen Bartels.

The Spanish teachers are very close friends and often hang out together outside of school. The group has gone to concerts, marches and dinners together. Photo courtesy Kathleen Bartels.

The Spanish teachers are very close friends and often hang out together outside of school. The group has gone to concerts, marches and dinners together. Photo courtesy Kathleen Bartels.

By Emma Shaffer

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While some students may think their friend group is close-knit, few squads measure up to that of Whitman’s Spanish teachers. Between meetings and sharing office space, it’s normal for teachers in the same department to spend time together. But the Spanish teachers aren’t just co-workers; they’re best friends. From cute shopping trips to Daddy Yankee concerts and the March for Our Lives, this is one close group of “amigas.”

The group—consisting of teachers Laura Brewer, Michele Traficante, Kathleen Bartels, Fabiola Katz and Madeline Golding—met while working at Whitman, where they quickly became friends. The close relationships between the teachers makes the department unique, Brewer said. Other teachers are often surprised at the close bond the Spanish teachers share.

“Our whole department gets together sometimes,” Brewer said. “I work really closely with Mrs. Bartels and Ms. Traficante, and we see each other a lot inside of school and outside of school.”

The group communicates outside of school in a group chat, where they send funny pictures that remind them of each other, cute videos, Spanish related jokes or just pictures they find funny, Katz said.

The teachers often check up on each other throughout the day—Brewer never hesitates to run into Traficante’s room to share a funny story. Having close friends makes it easier for them to come to work because they always have someone to brighten up their day, Traficante said.

“It helps to feel like you have good friends here,” Traficante said. “If I ever needed anything I’d have people to talk to; it just makes for a really good work environment.”

Like most squads, the Spanish teachers have a fashionista: Katz.

“We sometimes go shopping together,” Katz said. “In fact, they tell me that I’m the fashion lady, and they say ‘Can you take me shopping sometime?’ and I have secret places that I take my friends to.”

The teachers are grateful to have met each other through their jobs, and are glad to have found such long lasting bonds in their co-workers.

“There’s no one I would say I do not get along with in the department,” Golding said. “I would consider them all to be my friends.”

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