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New school year, new faces

Samiha Ali and Marian Sahakyan

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Wesley Banh

Banh

Subjects: Sheltered Humanities, Sheltered U.S. History, World History I

 

Q: Why did you want to be a teacher?                        

A: A large part of why I chose to get into teaching was because of teachers I’d had in the past. Their classes were challenging but fun, and that’s really what I aspire to do as a teacher myself. The other part of it is that I enjoy working with you kids and get a kick out of the banter that takes place over the course of the school day.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of school?       

A: My hobbies are all over the place – archery, reading, watching movies and traveling to name a few.

Q: Have you ever thought about a different career? If so, what?

A: No, not unless there’s someone out there who’ll pay me to watch movies and eat all day long.

Q: What is the best part about your job?   

A: Hands down, the students. I get a kick out of teaching because of the relationships I build with my students over the course of the school year and how no two classes of students will ever be the same when I teach.

Q: Are you happy so far with what you’ve achieved as a teacher?          

A: I’m happy with what I’ve achieved so far, but I’m also always looking for new things to try out in my classroom and better ways of doing things I’ve done in the past.

 

Whitney Barro

whitney barro

Responsibility: Career specialist

 

Q: How did you start working here in Woodbridge?
A: I actually interned here. I was an intern last spring and the fall before that and I just saw that the application was up for the new college and career coordinator, and I was familiar with the position, and I applied. Because I love Woodbridge and I really wanted to work in the environment with all of these great counselors and staff, and so I applied that way and it all worked out.

Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of work?

A: I love to shop, I love to eat, I love to travel and I have a six month old daughter, so I love hanging out with my baby girl.

Q: What inspired you to do this job?

A: I just love helping people, I love being able to be a resource to someone if they have a question. I think it’s nice to be able to have support for someone when they need it. It’s such a rewarding job, it’s really fun.

Q: Have you ever thought about having a different career?

A: Yeah, when I was in high school, I thought for a while I want to do singing or do musical theater, I really wanted to be on Broadway, but my first year of college I did musical theater and I just didn’t have the heart for auditioning and all of the rejection, it just wasn’t fun anymore.

Q: Interesting facts?

A: I was on “Full House” when I was six years old. I was on “Star Search” when I was little as well and I grew up in Irvine.

 

Amy Beames

Subjects: English 1, American Literature

 

Q: Is the subject you’re teaching now your favorite one from when you were in school?

A: Yes, English and Spanish were actually my two favorite subjects in school.

Q: What are your goals for the school year?

A; My goals are to help my students grow stronger in their writing and reading skills as well as encourage them to become better all-around people.

Q: Why did you want to become a teacher?

A: I always admired and respected my teachers in high school, and when I got to college I had a few teachers who really inspired to me go deeper with my reading and writing. Specifically now, I feel that being a teacher is a good opportunity to encourage students inside and outside of the classroom.

Q: Have you ever thought about a different career? If so, what?

A: I’ve thought about being a writer, and I’m still interested in that idea, but I would like to get the hang of teaching before I focus on that.

Q: What is the best part about your job?

A: The best part is having special moments with the class where we all share an inside joke or  an “Aha!” moment. I just love the unique memories that you make in every class period.

 

Aaron Dorman

Subjects: Algebra 1, Geometry

 

Q: Was the subject you’re currently teaching your favorite subject in high school?

A: Math has always been my favorite subject, and I’ve always loved learning it.

Q: What are your goals for the school year?

A: One of my goals is to get to know the culture of Woodbridge and learn about the students, staff and faculty and really become a member of this family.

Q: What do you like most about Woodbridge so far?

A: One of the nice things about Woodbridge is that the students are very sweet and easy to get along with. Everyone here is very positive.

Q: What are your interests outside the classroom?

A: I play bass in a band on the weekends, and I like to go running.

Q: Why did you want to become a teacher?

A: I love working with younger people. I think teenagers are so much fun, and plus you always have good stories to tell. I know high school can be such a hard time and a time of challenge and growth, so it’s very rewarding for me to be able to help students work through that and ultimately be successful not just in math, but in real life.

 

Kimberly Hermans

Subjects: AP Computer Science, Algebra 2, Intro to Computer Programming

 

Q: What are your goals for the school year?

A: My goal for the school is year is for all my AP students to do well on and pass the AP exam. For my other programming class, I want them to learn about computer programming and the different applications of it.

Q: What do you like most about Woodbridge so far?

A: I like that everyone is so friendly, and the school has such a welcoming environment.

Q: Why did you want to be a teacher?

A: I actually used to work in industry, but I also worked at an after school center. I realized that I liked working with students at the after school center more than my day job, so I decided to become a full-time teacher.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I really enjoy running and training for marathons.

Q: Favorite memory from high school?

A: My favorite memory from high school is probably grad night at Disneyland.

 

Nicole Houston

Nicole

Subjects: Algebra 1, Algebra 2

 

Q: Was the subject you teach your favorite in high school?

A: I have always had a passion for math, especially algebra. I always love doing puzzles and figuring out why things work the way they do.

Q: What are your goals for the school year?

A: My goals for the school year are to develop relationships with the students, get involved with the school and also to help my students develop a passion for math and learning.

Q: Why did you want to become a teacher?

A: I wanted to become a teacher for a few different reasons. First, I am passionate about math and wanted to pass that passion on to other people. I also love being involved with students and the community.

Q: What are your interests outside of school?

A: I definitely like to do a lot of reading. I also play a little guitar, draw and play video games.

Q: What is one uncommonly known fact about you?

A: I have a twin sister.

 

Ryan Itchon

Responsibilities: ROP and career specialist

 

Q: How do you feel about working here in Woodbridge?

A: It’s awesome, I love the staff. They’re so friendly. They’re so focused, so it makes my job easy and I feel like we’re all on the same page and helping students, so I couldn’t be happier in this environment.

Q: How does it feel to work at a high school after working at two middle schools before?

A: I would say there’s a lot more action for sure. You know, with the middle school setting, the students are much smaller. They’re only there for two years so it’s really cool to be in a high school, where so much is going on in terms of college, careers and you get to see students grow, in four years. I love the middle school setting, but high school presents a new challenge for me.

Q: What’s easier working at a middle school or a high school?

A: It really depends, because I think with middle school, there are pros and cons. It’s harder to have mature conversations with them, their attention span, you know they’re pretty crazy but they’re very impressionable. In middle school, their schedules are set, so I get to work with them more on a personal index, which I really like. In the high school setting you can have those mature conversations. I enjoy both.

Q: Have you ever thought about a different career?

A: I never have, all my experiences have been working with kids, so it naturally flowed. I talked to a professor, told him I’m undecided after two years, I don’t know what to do, so he told me, do whatever you’re interested in learning, so then I figured out you know, I love learning about why people do what they do, and so that was aligned with psychology, and then I ended up being in the education field.

Q: What is the best part about your job?

A: Helping kids is my passion and just seeing them grow is my paycheck, that’s what I love to see. I feel like I’m in a place where I can contribute to giving value to students. I like to see when students have that shine in their eyes that “you’ve solved my problem” or “now I have a better direction of where I wanna go” and that’s kind of what I thrive off of.

 

Kristen Malabayabas

Subjects: World History, U.S. History

 

Q: What do you like most about Woodbridge so far?

A: So far the students and faculty are my favorite part about the school. Everybody here is super nice, and I’m having a lot of fun here.

Q: Why did you want to be a teacher?

I fell in love with my subject in college, and I knew that I wanted to always be talking about my subject and sharing it with students.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I enjoy pilates, yoga, mountain biking and hiking. I also love spending time with my niece and nephew.

Q: Did you grow up in California?

A: I did. I actually went to Irvine High and did my undergrad at Hawaii Pacific University.

Q: Have you ever thought about a different career? If so, what?

A: Before I decided to go into teaching, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I was thinking about law school, but I realized that practicing law wasn’t the same as being involved in the history and the understanding of it.

 

Jenny Munoz

Subjects: Coordinated Science, Biology

 

Q: What are your goals for the school year?

A: My goal is to see my students succeed and hopefully get some more students interested and motivated in science.

Q: Is the subject you teach your favorite subject?

A: Growing up, I’ve always been interested in science – especially biology, physiology and anatomy, but I also have a passion for astronomy, which is why I’m excited to be teaching coordinated science. The class is basically earth science, but we incorporate chemistry and physics as well.

Q: Why did you want to be a teacher?

A: Teaching is something I’ve always been interested in. Even in high school and middle school, I was interested in tutoring. In college, I was part of a program that brought in elementary school students and we did science labs with them. So, teaching is something I’ve always been a part of, and I really love helping others as well as being in science.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I am a dancer, so I love to dance, typically ballet and classical though I am familiar with other modern styles. I also love to play video games and watch movies. I love music, so I’ve gone to local concerts and supported local bands.

Q: What is the best part about your job?

A: I’ve always described it as seeing when the light bulb clicks for the students – that’s the best part. I also love the interactions and seeing the students grow and develop throughout the year.

 

Matthew Perez

Subjects: Spanish 1, Spanish 2

 

Q: Is the subject you teach your favorite?

A: Yes it is, I studied Spanish in college and I took courses in high school as well, and I fell in love with it. It is my favorite subject.

Q: What are your goals for the school year?

A: My goals for the school year this year are to get acquainted with the Woodbridge, to get active in the community and to participate in the school activities.

Q: What do you like most about Woodbridge?

A: So far I love the people, the staff and the students, everyone is great. People in Irvine are great. I went to school at UC Irvine so I’m very familiar with Irvine and I love the place.

Q: Why did you want to be a teacher?

A: I have a few reasons why I wanted to be a teacher. First off my mom was a teacher when I was a student. She inspired me and also I had a really great Spanish teacher when I went to high school and I just wanted to be like her.

Q: What’s the best part about your job?

A: Best part about my job is to work with the students, work with young people. They always have good ideas and are very useful, and I enjoy it.

 

Sara Reeves

Subjects: English 2, Directed English 2, Directed Studies

 

Q: Are these what you like to do?  What are your favorite subjects?

A: They are my favorite subjects. I enjoy English, I love to read, I like reading about different times and places.

Q: What are your goals for the school year?

A: My goals for the school year would be to develop strong communications with my fellow teachers, and staff and students. I want to get to know the students personally and to make good connections with them.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I’m a huge water person. I enjoy swimming. I love to read. I like going to movies and going to the beach.

Q: What’s the craziest thing a student has done in your class?

A: I had a student do a flip in my classroom last year.

Q: What inspired you to become a teacher?

A: I have always had a really great group of teachers myself and I found them to be really inspirational, to make material come alive in the classroom. I really loved going to school even as a college student and I really wanted to bring that experience into my own classroom for my students and that’s how I became a teacher.

 

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New school year, new faces