Vera Rozkin, a longstanding and much-loved French teacher at The King David School, recently passed away after a short illness, leaving the school community heartbroken.
She was born in Moscow in 1949. In 1992, Rozkin and her husband Michael, son Dmitry, and daughter Kathrin emigrated to Australia.
Rozkin – who passed away aged 74 on Thursday, October 5 – was the grandmother of three.
As a teacher of French, she devoted her life to students and her love of the language.
Dmitry said, “Mum’s number one love was always the French language.
“Together with her students at King David, she tutored students all over Melbourne, she worked in the evenings and weekends mostly with year 12 students.”
Rozkin was a big fan of theatre. She went to exhibitions, ballet and opera performances.
Dmitry said her absolute love was fashion. She was always chic.
“She was one of the most fashionable people you will ever meet.
“She was always impeccably dressed from head to toe.
“Mum didn’t even take the bins out without putting make-up on and dressing up in one of her gorgeous outfits.”
Dmitry visited his mother in hospital a couple of days before she passed away. “I’m usually very well dressed, and I was coming to see mum and was wearing this horrendous hoodie.
“She looks up at me with total disdain and asked, ‘What are you wearing?'”
For more than 25 years, Rozkin’s irrepressible nature, her wonderful sense of humour, her fierce intellect, and her abiding commitment to excellence permanently touched her many colleagues, past and present, and countless students.
Principal Marc Light said, “Vera will be remembered for her sharp one-liners, for her co-mingling of French, Russian and Yiddish and for the manner in which she gave all she had to her students.”
Class of 2012 student Shira Appelboom remembers Rozkin for her unforgettable combination of charisma and genuine care for her students and the school. Rozkin was her role model for being passionate about what she do.
“Her love of French language and culture was shared with her French students, while her wit, warmth and fun were loved by us all,” Appelboom said.
“She had style and grace and was a wise mentor for me with a ready ear. My French textbooks, still on my shelf, will always remind me of her.”