New Teachers Q&A 2013

Rebecca+Travis-++Travis+grew+up+in+Woodbury%2C+Connecticut+where+she+attended+Nonnewaug+High+School.+She+has+been+teaching+for+ten+years%2C+and+will+be+teaching+French+at+SDA.+Photo+and+Story+by+Elise+Gout

Elise Gout

Rebecca Travis- Travis grew up in Woodbury, Connecticut where she attended Nonnewaug High School. She has been teaching for ten years, and will be teaching French at SDA. Photo and Story by Elise Gout

Rebecca Travis

What kind of student were you in high school?

What kind of high school student was I? That’s a loaded question. I was generally a good student. I did well in class, pretty well behaved, so in student-ry, I was a good student. I was kind of a jock. I wouldn’t say I was much of a trouble maker, though.

 

What was your dream job when you were a kid?

I think to be an athlete. I didn’t really know [what sport]. I just loved sports. In high school I did field hockey, gymnastics, and track. Then I ran track in college for the University of Connecticut, and then I kind of burnt out on that. And then I started doing triathlons. I still do triathlons now. That’s kind of one of the reasons I moved out. I’m not doing it for money, but I guess I kind of met the goal.

 

What did you study in college?

I majored in French, minored in Spanish, and got my degree in education. Some people go education and then study the languages. Some people focus on the languages and then do the education part of it, and I kind of did both at the same time.

 

How did you learn to speak French?

Just from school, in Connecticut, because it’s close to Canada. It’s a little more prevalent, kind of like Spanish is here. Students here don’t really get exposed to language until high school. I started in seventh grade and my mom was a travel agent, so we traveled a lot. Early on, I got to see practical applications.

 

What turned you towards teaching?

I guess because I like kids. I didn’t want to really grow up too much and get a super-adult job. I move and I have a lot of energy and I like something that’s always different. It keeps you kind of young, I think.

Where else have you taught?

My first official job was in Garden Grove in Orange County. Then I left there when I got married and went to Palm Springs and taught junior college for three years, French and English as a second language. And now I’m here.

 

What drew you to teach this language/subject?

We had the choice of French or Spanish [in high school] and, back in the day as terrible as it sounds, I don’t agree with it at all, they would take all of the top students and put them in French and take all the other students and put them in Spanish. It was really bad. This was back a long time ago. It was chosen for us, pretty much.

 

If you could teach any other subject, what would it be? Why?

PE. Sometimes I think about going back. I mean I love teaching languages. It’s just as much fun, and I think that my students are probably pretty grateful I don’t teach it. I would be intense.

 

Do you have any pet peeves outside of the classroom?

People that don’t keep their word. That’s kind of one of my philosophies that I try to install in my students too. When you say you’re going to do something, you commit to it. I’m not big on liars.

 

What do you do outside of teaching?

Triathlons and also cooking. My job in high school growing up, it was a little town, I worked the place called Sandwich Construction. It was kind of a gourmet deli. I sort of worked my way up. I started out washing dishes, and then I started chopping vegetables. By the time I finished college, because I’d work on the weekends too, I was running the whole thing. I could do everything by that point. So I love cooking still.

 

What is something unique about yourself?

I’m pretty fiery. One of my friends reads charts and stuff, not astrology but this kind of thing where you get three signs. She told me I’m the only person she’s ever seen with triple fire.

 

What’s the most interesting item on your desk?

It looks pretty sad right now; there’s really not much interesting here. I’m kind of a neat freak too. I bet you some teachers have all kinds of stuff. This is a photo of when I did a triathlon, and sometimes my students would come out. That [triathlon] was pretty cool because this race started at 6 a.m. and so we were there, literally, at four o’clock in the morning. They were great.

 

What are some of your first impressions of SDA?

I think I like the sense of community, amongst the staff and amongst the students. You just don’t see students making fun of one another, being mean to one another. There is just a level of respect that you see amongst the student body, amongst the staff that I think is really unique. That’s my first real impression, how nice everyone is.

 

Clements

Megan Clements- Clements grew up in San Diego where she attended Mount Carmel High School. She studied biology at Cal State San Marcos and is beginning her second year of teaching. She will be teaching Biology at San Dieguito. Story and Photo by Katie McPherson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What kind of student were you in high school?

I was a very good student, very diligent, but I was shy.

 

What was your dream job when you were a kid?

My dream job was to be an oceanographer.

 

What turned you towards teaching?

Probably because I love children so much. I have a very open heart, a big heart for kids.

 

How long have you been teaching for?

This will be the beginning of my second year.

 

Where else have you taught?

I taught at La Costa Canyon High School last year and I did my student teaching at La Costa Canyon and I did another student teaching assignment at Escondido at Orange Glen High School.

 

What drew you to teach this language/subject?

I love life, study of life. I love anything to do with life. I respect it. I think there’s so much to learn about it always. I really like chemistry, but biology is more my interest. I decided in high school. I knew I wanted to do a science field in elementary school. I was always drawn to science.

 

If you could teach any other subject, what would it be? Why?

Math. No History, no English! Obviously, my poor grammar. P.E. would be great. I always kind of struggled with math so I think I could help and really would care for my students and I like math; it’s really linear. I would like to teach P.E. because I am a swimmer. I’m a very athletic person. I’m always active.

 

Do you have any pet peeves outside the classrooms?

My pet peeve is throwing cigarette butts outside the window. When people are driving and smoking that just always gets me. I will literally yell at a person and I’m a really nice person but that really gets me mad. Another pet peeve would just be I like things straight. I just like everything to be straight; it’s almost OCD. I don’t like a lot of clutter.

 

 

What do you do outside of teaching?

My hobbies include mostly taking care of my children. They are all in school right now so making sure they are on track with their school. For fun I do yoga. I like to surf. I like to snow board. Sometimes you’ll see me riding my sector nine board on the 101. Sometimes you’ll see me at a skate park with my oldest son. I actually, yes, can ride the half pipe. I like to garden and I love snorkel, tide pool. I play piano. I’ve played since I was five.

 

What is something unique about you?

I definitely look like I’m 12. I freakishly look younger, a lot younger, decades younger than I am and I definitely act that way sometimes, but that’s just who I am

 

What are some of your first impressions of SDA?

My first impression is that [SDA] just seems very community-like. It  has a relaxed feeling yet it’s also rigorous. It does seem like the students are more respectful than other campuses I’ve been on and it’s small which is nice. It’s quaint.

Anglin

Elizabeth Anglin-  Anglin grew up in San Diego where she attended University [Cathedral Catholic] High School. She studied environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara before earning her teaching credentials and master’s degree at San Diego State. She has taught for six years and will be teaching Special Education at San Dieguito. Photo and Story by Elise Gout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What kind of student were you in high school?

A really diligent student.

 

What was your dream job when you were a kid?

I wanted to be a Supreme Court justice. I wanted to be a lawyer, and I really wanted to help people, like people who were going through family divorce issues.

 

What turned you towards teaching?

I always wanted to be a teacher, but my mom was a teacher and really wanted me to explore other options, which I’m really glad I did because I have a really diverse background.

 

Where else have you taught?

I taught at Diegueno for six years, also Special Ed.

 

What drew you to teach to Special Education?

I really wanted to help students who struggled at school because I know that they have lots of strengths in different ways, and they aren’t always able to express them. [I wanted] to help everybody reach their full potential.

 

If you could teach anything else, what would it be? Why?

English, I love to read and write.

 

Do you have any pet peeves outside the classroom?

I have so many. I don’t like it when I go to a concert and the people are wearing the band t-shirt of the concert that we’re at. It just bothers me. It’s like, we all know you like this band.

 

What kind of concerts to you go to?

I like classic rock. I like reggae.

 

Did you go to the fair to see any of the reggae there?

I went to the fair, but I have a three-year- old, so I can’t really go to reggae concerts with her.

 

What do you do outside of teaching?

I hang out with my family. I have a three-year-old daughter, and I like to run, go to the beach, and go shopping.

 

What is something unique about yourself?

I hate peas. I love vegetables in general, but I hate peas. And it’s so funny because my daughter had her Mother’s Day thing and she wrote my favorite food was peas. She doesn’t even know. It was because I make her eat them, even though I hate them. I [also] have a brother who’s twenty. He’s a junior in college, and I have another brother whose twenty-six, so all of my brothers and I are six years apart.

 

What is the most interesting item on your new desk?

I have a rain stick. I used to use it in middle school, but now I’m like “It’s too cool for high school.”

 

What are some of your first impressions of SDA?

I love that it’s a really diverse population. There are lots of different people, and I really like the feeling of community here. I feel like everyone has a place to fit in, and I really like that. The teachers all seem very caring and really understanding of their students.

Hanni Dotson

Hanni Dotson- Dotson grew up here in Encinitas where she attended La Costa Canyon High School. She studied social science at Cal State San Marcos before earning her teaching credentials and Special-Ed training. She has taught for eight years and will be teaching Special Education at San Dieguito. Photo and Story by Linden Amundsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was your dream job when you were a kid?

I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Everyone in my family teaches, and I grew up thinking that is what I would be.

 

Where else have you taught?

I’ve also taught in Poway, Coronado, and Switzerland.

 

What drew you to teach this subject?

In high school, I had the best history teacher- Mr. Etheridge, and he inspired me to study social science. My mom was a special ed. teacher, and I always saw how much she loved it, so that what drew me in to special education teaching.

 

If you could teach anything else, what would it be? Why?

I think I’d want to be a park ranger, and teach people about national parks. I love nature and traveling, and I’ve been to many national parks.

 

Do you have any pet peeves outside of school?

Bad drivers.

 

What do you do outside of teaching?

Outside of teaching, I hang out with my family; I also cook, travel, and sew.

 

What is something unique about you?

I grew up, and went to school in this district. I’m a third generation teacher in this area.

 

What is the most unique thing on your new desk?

I don’t have anything exciting on my desk, just pictures of my family.

 

What are some of your first impressions of SDA?

So far, SDA seems great. It’s friendly and relaxed.

 

Robert Balogh- Balogh grew up in Laguna Hills where he attended Laguna Hills High School. He studied English at San Diego State. He has taught for nine years and will be teaching English at San Dieguito.

Robert Balogh- Balogh grew up in Laguna Hills where he attended Laguna Hills High School. He studied English at San Diego State. He has taught for nine years and will be teaching English at San Dieguito. Photo and Story by Katie McPherson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What kind of student were you in high school?

An average Student. I got mostly B’s a few A’s.

 

What was your dream job when you were a kid?

To be honest, it wasn’t being a being a teacher. I think I probably wanted to play soccer professionally.

 

What turned you towards teaching?

A lot of difference experiences. I worked with kids in after school and summer camp programs and that really kind of sparked my interest to continue doing it just seeing kids go from me helping them solve problems to them doing it on their own based on the strategies that I gave them.

 

How long have you been teaching for?

I earned my credentials three  years ago, but before that I’ve taught for six years, so I guess this would be my ninth year, but three  with a credential and six doing a lot of teaching in various different environments without a credential. In a different country, in different levels within schools. I taught in Oakland where you didn’t need a credential to teach and I substitute taught in a couple of different districts as well and teaching after school, tutoring and all kinds of various other environments.

 

Where else have you taught?

I started in Irvine Unified School District in Orange County, then I went to Ecuador and taught at a private inner city school there, and then I came back and I taught in Oakland and then I received my credential and taught back in Irvine for a year and then last year I was at Digueño and now I’m here. I really enjoyed middle school in previous teaching experiences, so I was kind of excited to get back into middle school because I kind of like the quirkiness of middle school kids. They’re not quite as serious as high school students, but they’re not quite as silly as elementary school students. They’re  this great in between age and so I had a lot of fun kind of letting them be who they were and letting them have fun and learn English at the same time. It [Digueño] is just a great school in general, such happy kids and great staff. It was amazing.

 

What drew you to teach in Special Education?

Just helping people find a way to communicate in a way that serves them but also serves their community.

 

If you could teach anything else, what would it be? Why?

We kind of have the program here, but I’d like to teach a class that has to do with a business that does sustainable work and in a way we kind of have that through the horticulture program and the Culinary Arts and the Mosaic Café. From my understanding those are all interrelated in some ways they connect and I really like that but I’d really like to find ways that kids can put the skills that they’re using in the classroom into a professional environment but also with a lens that is focused on sustainability and not necessarily environmental sustainability, but there’s other types of sustainability as well.

 

 

Do you have any pet peeves outside the classroom?

One thing that really bothers me outside of the classroom is if I’m eating at a table with somebody and they’re smacking their lips, that drives me nuts, but that kind of relates to the classroom. I’m hypersensitive with my hearing and so kids that are tapping their pencil, for whatever reason that becomes the loudest noise in the classroom and I can’t get away from it. I also have a phobia of feet.

 

What do you do outside of teaching?

Outside of teaching, I try to be healthy and for me that means spending time with my family, spending time in the ocean, playing soccer, and finding great places to eat that are hopefully healthy but not always. I’m just kind of working on that pursuit of happiness thing and to me that’s all about being healthy.

 

What is something unique about yourself?

I’ve bartered an English lesson for room and board. I come from a family of educators. My parents were both teachers for over 35 years. My brother is a high school principal, so I’m kind of following in their footsteps, very unexpectedly. I never thought I would be a teacher. I worked at an animal rescue center in the Amazon Jungle and I worked on sustainability projects, both with animals and the local communities kind of helping them coexist.

 

What is the most interesting item on your new desk?

It is the ship in the bottle. That’s what everybody asks me about. The ship in the bottle was a gift from a student who was a Filipina and went to the Philippines and she came back with this and I don’t know if she would appreciate it, but I made it my bathroom pass, but it always seems to capture kids attention and they always ask me how do they get the ship in the bottle.

 

What are some of your first impressions of SDA?

The overwhelming sense of everybody is in it together. There’s this great sense of community here where people are supporting each other and people have a genuine willingness to help one another both from a student to student level and from a teacher to student level and from the faculty as well. There’s just that camaraderie that is really apparent and it’s very nice. I can’t speak highly enough about the camaraderie in the work environment and even in the school, it’s really important.

 

Shannon del Rio

Shannon del Rio grew up in Santa Barbara before attending UC Santa Cruz. She has taught for two years and will be teaching Special Education at San Dieguito.

 

Why did you move down here?

“I didn’t move down here right away, but I’ve been to a lot of other places. I moved back to California because I had family here.”

 

Where were you before you came to California?

“We moved back here from Santa Fe, New Mexico.”

 

What kind of student were you in high school? How would you describe yourself?

“Well, I took mostly Honors classes and a few AP classes. I had a lot of different friends from a lot of different circles.

 

What was your favorite subject?

“Um, I don’t know. I took a lot of philosophy and psychology and a great religions class, which I was really interested in. But as far as academics classes, English was my favorite.”

 

What was your dream job when you were a kid?

“I wanted to be a pediatrician.”

 

What turned you towards teaching?

“Well, in college, I took an education class, and I really fell in love with it. I fell in love with the idea of learning how people learn. And so after college I took some time off to travel and then I went back to get my teaching credentials.

 

Where else have you taught?

“I taught middle school. I taught English and I taught fourth grade.”

 

What drew you to teach Special Education?

“So, I’m not really sure what did. I had a friend whose child had special needs and I went back to school in my early 20s and I think that got me thinking about it and then once I started learning about it and going to the classes I got really fascinated; it spoke to my interests in learning about how people learn because certainly people with special needs learn differently.”

 

If you could teach anything else, what would it be? Why?

“Probably be a foreign language, even though I don’t speak any. I would like to be a Spanish teacher.”

 

Do you have any pet peeves outside the classroom?

“People who drive crazy.”

 

Any reason why? Do they just annoy you?

“It just annoys me, I mean, I have kids and often, I’m driving them around and I feel a bit unsafe.”

 

What do you do outside of teaching?

“I like to hang out with my family at the beach, watching movies. I like doing yoga and exercising.”

 

What is something unique about yourself?

“I lived in Costa Rica for three months by myself.”

 

Why?

“Just for fun after college. I was 22.”

 

What is the most interesting item on your new desk?

“Well, this isn’t my desk…so… I share this classroom. I have three desks because I also work at CCA. So, probably a picture of my kids. Which isn’t that interesting.”

 

What are some of your first impressions of SDA?

“I love it here. I love the energy, I love the culture, the students are very respectful and unique.”

Bryn Faris

Bryn Faris- Faris was born and raised in Leucadia, were she attended San Dieguito for high school. She studied Spanish at Mira Costa, Sonoma State, and overseas in Spain. She has taught for 12 years and will be teaching Spanish at San Dieguito. Photo by Devin Lasek. Story by Nicole Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was your dream job when you were a kid?

“This was it. I’m doing it right now.”

 

Where did you go to college and what did you study there?

“I went to Sonoma State and Mira Costa and I studied in Spain and I studied Spanish.”

 

What turned you towards teaching?

“I love my subject matter. I love language. I love grammar… I’m fascinated by culture and I love being around high schoolers who have the world at their fingertips. They see no obstacles in their way.”

 

How long have you been teaching for?

“Twelve years in the district, but I had babies and had time off.”

 

Where else have you taught?

“Canyon Crest Academy and I’m really happy to be back here. This is my home away from home. It feels really good to be here.”

 

If you could teach any other subject, what would it be?

“Just Spanish.”

 

What is your most interesting teaching story so far?

“There are lots of interesting stories because every student has an interesting story to tell.”

 

Do you have any pet peeves outside of the classroom?

“Bad grammar. I’m a little bit OCD… not diagnosed.”

 

What do you do outside of teaching?

“I have two kids so I spend a lot of time as a chauffeur… I run… I exercise. I garden [vegetables] and I’m really involved at my kids’ schools.”

 

What is something unique about yourself?

“I’m just like everybody else. Really we are the same for the most part.”

 

What is the most interesting item on your new desk?

“Probably that pencil box and I think I actually gave that to Suzy [former SDA Spanish teacher Susan McCluskey]. That Frida Kahlo pencil box. I don’t have a lot of stuff on my desk.”

 

What are some of your impressions of SDA?

“The difference is when you set foot on this campus you feel light, and invigorated, and refreshed, and energized, and comfortable, and accepted. Good, like it just is all good.”

 

Lily Bolig

Lily Bolig grew up in Escondido, California where she attended Escondido High School. She later studied at UC Santa Cruz as an English Literature Major with a Minor in Education. She has been teaching for four weeks, and this will be her first official teaching job. She will be teaching English and Speech and Debate. Story and Photo by Peri Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What kind of student were you in high school?

I was nerdy. I was very competitive in our marching band program and I marched clarinet. In spring, I was bass drum. In jazz band, I played the baritone saxophone. I was first chair. I was in band leadership, and I never wanted to be drum major, but in my senior year the drum major was pregnant, so I became the drum major.

 

What was your dream job when you were a kid?

Marine Biologist. I was three and I loved dolphins, and so I did the typical “I love dolphins, so I’m going to work with dolphins,” thing, and then as I grew older that morphed into wanting to become a scientist and work with marine mammals. Math and money turned me away from that. There were too many math courses required, which I didn’t like, and it would take me six years to graduate, which I couldn’t afford.

 

Where did you go to college, and what did you study there?

I went to UC Santa Cruz and was an English Literature major with an education minor. My family was weird, we didn’t watch TV. We read books instead, and when we sat at the dinner table we would sit and talk about what we were reading. So when I realized that marine biology wasn’t going to work out, I asked myself what I was good at. And I was good at reading.

 

What turned you towards teaching?

I had some experience in it, I had taken a few classes and I had liked it so far. So I stuck with it. I tutored a lot, just to make sure it was really what I wanted to do.

 

How long have you been teaching for?

Four weeks. This is my first official teaching job, but I was a student teacher last year.

Where else have you taught?

I was a student teacher at San Marcos High School in the fall teaching English, and then I was here at SDA during the Spring assisting Blaze with her English class and Mr. Ross with creative writing.

 

What drew you to coach Speech and Debate?

The position was open. I knew nothing about Speech and Debate, and Mr. Hornig was nice enough to send me to be trained at Stanford for a week before the school year started. I just really wanted to work here at SDA. It’s home.

 

If you could teach any other subject, what would it be? Why?

In a perfect world, I would teach science. And it would be all labs, every day.

 

What is your most interesting teaching story so far?

Well, I ended up having to tell my class something that I never thought I would have to explain to a group of high schoolers. “Doors are doors. Windows are windows. Their functions are not the same.” I now have signs taped onto my windows that say, “CAUTION: This is a window, not a door.”

 

Do you have any pet peeves outside the classroom?

Talking slowly. Oh, and small talk. I hate small talk.

 

What do you do outside of teaching?

Not a lot. I’m pretty boring. I hang out with my friends, who are married and also boring. And we talk about our boring lives. I read John green novels, though. I read a lot of YA fiction, because I am secretly a teenager.

 

What is something unique about you?

I’m a Nerdfighter. DFTBA.

 

What is the most interesting item on your new desk?

There’s a little owl. It’s from my friend’s bachelorette party—we got together and painted ceramics.

 

What are some of your first impressions of SDA?

Well, I had student taught at San Marcos High School, and it was so completely opposite from SDA. I’ve never seen a school that was as welcoming as San Dieguito. I love that it’s really student-centered.