Blach Teacher, Marron Honigman, Passes Away but Remains a Portrait of Vitality

By Noelle Hanson, Staff Writer

Courtesy Gail Wade

“I love you.” That’s what Gail Wade, former colleague and personal friend, remembers Marron Honigman saying to her the most. Honigman, a long time teacher at Blach Intermediate School, passed on Monday after prolonged illness. She was 71.

Although she grew up in the 1960s, where women and young girls were expected to be passive and sweet, Honigman set an example for her students: expect what is due and demand it. Through her own actions, Honigman preached that if you desired to achieve something, regardless of gender stereotypes, you should confidently pursue it. Her assertive attitude influenced the success of her students.

“She was very supportive of girls in math,” former Blach student and current Los Altos junior Leah Guesman said. “She just invested in everybody and really wanted everybody to do well.”

Honigman was not only ahead of her time when it came to gender stereotypes, but also in her method of teaching in the classroom. By implementing a weekly challenge problem into her curriculum early in her almost 50 year career, Honigman allowed her students the opportunity to explore, think critically and experience real life situations. She combined writing with math by having her students write and explain their thinking, an important skill only recently being implemented in current curriculum.

One of Honigman’s many stand-out qualities as a teacher was her ability to create a personal and meaningful relationship with each one of her students, often feeling more like a friend than a mentor.

“She was one of the few teachers that really made an effort to empathize with her students and to put in the energy to take a different approach with every single one of her students.” Leah said. “[Her] dedication to help students be successful and make them feel like they had a place- I don’t think I had any other teacher at Blach that made me feel so valued.”

Although Honigman may not have taught all former Blach students, her bubbly energy and jovial attitude was felt everywhere on campus. Whether she was creating Blach’s first cross country team, helping her homeroom win competitions for class prizes or planning the annual Washington D.C. trip, Honigman filled her life with service.

“She was always in action, she was always moving.” Wade said. “She was the most supportive person you could imagine, she was always there when you needed her and she was always everywhere.”

Her supportive and active nature went beyond the campus grounds as she could be found accompanying the French classes on almost every summer France trip, cheering on the French athletes competing in triathlon while everyone else toured art museums.

“That’s the kind of person she was.” Wade said. “She would cheer anybody on even if she never saw them in her life. She went to just say yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, you did it.”

Marron Honigman’s presence will be deeply missed: at Blach, on the annual Washington D.C. trip, at her favorite pastry shop (Paul Pastries), in her Soulcycle community, at French athletic events, in her pre-exam dance rituals and in the lives of her family, friends and students.

“She was such a kick ass lady.” Leah said.