By Kaylan Kha
This school year, Gabrielino High School added nine new teachers to its staff in five different departments.
Replacing three teachers in the English department are Lillian Chen, Silva Esef, and Tera Straker.
After three years of teaching in Italy, Esef returned to the States a month and a half ago, securing a teaching position at Gabrielino. Esef now teaches senior English and one class of sophomore English.
“The lifestyle in Los Angeles compared to Italy is very different,” stated Esef. “Life in Italy was much more relaxed because people had two hour breaks in the middle of the afternoon, [but] it’s all about getting back into the swing of things.”
New to the social science department are Desiree Almaraz and Ryan Kammerman. Almaraz is the Advanced Placement Government teacher, while Kammerman teaches World and United States History.
The help and support of the students and staff have made it easier for the teachers to adjust to the school.
“The staff is super friendly,” said Almaraz. “The two math teachers [in the classrooms next door] always say hi and everyone in my department gets along. It’s been a really nice experience.”
Also added to the list of new teachers is David Pitts, the new choral instructor in the music department. Pitts is taking over for Cassandra Foust, the previous choir teacher.
Not only were new faces welcomed onto campus, but familiar faces as well.
“I was here four years ago on a long-term sub assignment,” said Erik Miller, Resource teacher. “It’s different being in a smaller school now, but [Gabrielino] lends itself a sense of community.”
Miller teaches ninth and tenth grade English, as well as Resource classes that were implemented this year by Ruth Esseln, assistant principal.
Michael Huang, who was an aide at Gabrielino years before, is another Resource teacher. Huang now teaches math to special education students.
“Resource classes are for special education students who require more help. They have that period to do homework and ask questions,” stated Huang.
Another face the current staff might recognize is Rana Masri, biology teacher. Unlike Miller and Huang, Masri is not a former staff member. Instead, she was a graduate from Gabrielino, returning years later to teach at her old high school.
“Mr. McClure was my physics teacher and Mrs. Heinrich was my history teacher,” stated Masri. “Even though it’s my first year here and the school [looks] completely different, it still feels like home.”