Mary-Ellen, who retired in 2019, didn’t grow up far from New Bedford, the small New England city where she taught for 35 years. She has seen the community change over time, weathering economic hardships as many of the families she taught moved to more affluent suburbs. New Bedford has become a city of predominately immigrant families, and for most, English is their second language. For many of her students, Mary-Ellen was far more than just a teacher: She was often a ride home, a mentor, a shoulder to lean on, a safe space, and most of all, someone to trust. All of these qualities were only amplified by the EF tours she led year after year at her high school.