Mrs. Wharam Exits Sahuaro Stage Left

Thespians Bid Adieu to Drama Teacher

Alex Stone

“They know how I feel about them, and I think that’s special in itself. There’s this knowing, and you don’t have to always say it.” – Geri Wharam

Born December 30, native Tucsonan Geri Wharam is Sahuaro’s much-loved drama teacher.  She began her Sahuaro journey in 2001, after teaching previously at Mountain View, and being the Administrator for Education at the Tucson Pima Arts Council. When asked if she had anything to say to the Sahuaro community after all the years, she said, “It’s been a fun ride. I’ve been really blessed to have worked with some really wonderful people, and I’ve had some really great students that I know I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life.”

“Mrs. Wharam changed my life freshman year. Going into high school I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere and she gave me a place to belong. She’s taught me so much the past 4 years and not just about theater, but about life and myself. She’s like my second mother, and the impact she made in my life will stay with me forever,” Carolina Lobos, senior stated.

Stephanie Sager, SHS Class of 2014, apologized for the long farewell, but had much to say. “Mrs. Wharam was one of the most influential teachers I ever had at Sahuaro. The four years I spent in her drama classes not only taught me a lot about who I was as an actress but who I could be as a person. Mrs. Wharam was always there to be a listening ear and had open arms whenever I needed it. Her encouragement often got me through, not only whatever show we were doing, but also through so many other of life’s difficulties. Now that I am in college and I am starting to figure out where my life is going, I often think about all the wonderful things I learned from Mrs. Wharam, whether that’s about life, or theater, or not being afraid to do something if you’re passionate about it. When I am having a rainy day I often pull out the bag of trinkets, which did make the trip to Illinois for school. I remember everything she told us as she gave it to us on our last day of our senior year and I know that everything is going to be alright. I know it’s going to be alright because I know that if I am ever in need of a supportive shoulder I could still call up Mrs. Wharam and she would cheer me on as much as she did when I was one of her students. I owe a lot to Mrs. Wharam, and I know a lot of people do, and she will be greatly missed. Congratulations Mrs. Wharam on your retirement! I wish you didn’t have to go but I know you have done more than enough to deserve it!”

“There’s too much to say in one single quote about Mrs. Wharam, but if I have the chance to say something that really stands out to me about her, I’d say that she takes the place of a mother to those who feel they don’t have one. She’s inspiring in all she does and she takes care of the fine arts department well.  We all love you mama Wharam! ” gushed Domonique Carter, class of 2016.

 Class of 2014 grad, Max Valdez stated, “Mrs. Wharam was my first real director. And she pushed us…hard. We had deadlines to fulfill that we never thought we could make. But we did because we wanted a good show.  She was always good and high spirited. It would take an apocalypse to bring her down.  I want to thank her, she taught me the basics of my profession and I am now soaring higher than I thought I could. She’s a good lady, and fun teacher. I wish her well.”

Students are not the only ones who will miss her.  The Fine Arts Department is a tight-knit group.  Mr. Marrs, Ms. Engel, and Ms. Barnes will close the show with this…

“Geri Wharam has been inspiring young actors and actresses here at Sahuaro, at the Arts Council and before that at Marana HS for almost 3 decades.  Her students have been incredibly successful and speak very highly of her.  She is talented, vibrant, funny and hard-working.  She will be missed here at Sahuaro, but we know she will keep acting, directing or doing something theatrical and energetic for years to come!  We love you, Geri!”

Ken, Hill and Suzie