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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Additions, changes for fall

By Teresa Wong | Staff Writer  

   The start of the 2022-23 school year brought not only the usual new freshmen faces, but included a new principal, two administrators, and seven teachers to Gabrielino High School. All arrived before the new 8:30 a.m. start time, implemented in accordance with state law. 

   Negar Mizani, whose position was approved on June 28, will be serving as the 2022-23 principal alongside Anh Ligutom, a new assistant principal, and veteran Assistant Principal Vince Lopez. Amy Slavensky, an administrator appointed to aid Mizani, is slated to work closely with the administrative team as well. 

   Projected staff cuts from the San Gabriel Unified School District (SGUSD) Governing Board in early March were followed by several individual resignations, leaving teaching openings in many departments.

   Bryan Chao, math teacher, transferred from the Los Angeles Unified School District this year. He hopes to be someone with whom students can feel comfortable asking questions.

   “[I want to help the students] become whoever [they] wanna become,” Chao explained.

   With a recently obtained Resource Specialist Program (RSP) degree and eight years of teaching mathematics in El Monte, Jacqueline Bravo is well-versed in hands-on instruction. 

   “Everybody has been really accommodating and helpful,” Bravo stated.

   Sarah Ratliff is a new biology teacher who taught freshmen physics at La Cañada Unified School District. Despite needed lesson plan adjustments, she has thoroughly enjoyed her work environment.

   “I love my students and co-workers – especially in my department,” said Ratliff.  

   Chan Nhu-Le described her journey as a freelancer at a private studio to a full-time art teacher, adding that “my whole family are teachers.”  

   “With my skills, I have more to offer, [and] can be more in depth, than [just] cutting and pasting [in a studio],” Nhu-Le said.

   Hailing from a school in Altadena, Paul Matthews joins the social science department. Having taught grades 10-12, Matthews believes that “[living] in an era politically aware of what’s going on [makes] students want to learn more – there’s more connection.” 

   Marco Tacandong primarily taught choreography at dance studios before taking up afternoon dance instruction at Gabrielino, where he integrates history into his lesson plans. 

   “It’s not just entertainment,” Tacandong stated. “It is an art form. It is a sport.”  

   Guadalupe Hernandez, who specializes in RSP learning, started her career at Chino Hills in 2017. A mother of two, she considers respect and kindness “important qualities to have, especially in high school.” 

   “It’s been interesting… how [the] school system has changed. [Now I] know what to expect when my kids get older,” Hernandez said.         

   Chere’l Barrett is the new school psychologist, previously working for El Monte Union as an aide. As a first-generation college graduate, she wants to inform students of the opportunities and institutions available for them. 

   “I had a really good counselor who steered me toward where to look,” Barrett stated.

  Changes also came to the academic counseling department. Jacqueline Borja has returned from a one-year leave of absence, re-joining counselors Maribel Arreola-Gonzalez, Monica Hagge, and Amanda Ly.

   Jocelyn Machado, formerly a college and career counselor, transitioned this month to the academic counseling staff in order to reduce their student caseload.

   Senate Bill 328, passed in October 2019, required Californian public high schools to begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m. July 1 was the deadline for compliance with this law.

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Additions, changes for fall