HARTFORD — In June, Robyn Etelis Weller of West Hartford retired after 40 years of teaching Life Management in Connecticut public schools. For the last 35 years, Robyn taught in the Granby public schools, where she mentored several generations of Granby students.
A graduate of Syracuse University, Weller received her masters degree from the University of Saint Joseph, Weller began her career teaching Home Economics at the Granby Middle School, then taught Health and Child Development at the town’s high school. She returned to teach at the middle school several years later, taking on the responsibility of teaching and writing curriculum for topics such as food preparation and nutrition, child development, violence prevention, drug awareness and human reproduction.
She also organized many school events, for occasions such as Grandparents Day and the Future Chefs Competition; and she prompted her students to sell gently-used items in the school store to make money for a variety of charities. And, over the years, she bought in many guest speakers to address students in her Health and Child Development classes.
At a recent dinner honoring Weller upon the occasion of her retirement, Granby’s curriculum director Dr. Patricia Law noted that Weller’s “love and passion for cooking is contagious and is passed on to students and staff alike.”
Indeed, the creative spark she ignited in students is evident in the work they produced. Under her guidance, students won many awards – i.e., Mothers Against Drunk Driving poster contests and the Fostoria China contest for designing creative china patterns.
Today, many of Weller’s past students are now professional chefs, teachers, child psychologists, and pediatricians. Many return to Weller’s classes as guest lecturer.
Weller, who is a longtime member of Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford, credits much of her success to her parents, the late Leatrice and Jack Etelis, her husband, Harry, and their daughters, Sarah, a teacher living in Jerusalem with her husband, Yossi, and their two sons, and Elayna, a nurse residing in West Hartford with her husband, Mark, and their two sons.
CAP: Robyn Weller at her recent retirement dinner.