This school year, MC welcomed a host of new teachers to its ranks. Stacy Walker, who teaches drama and theater tech, is one of them. She previously spent four years of her life at MC, not as a staff member, but as a student.
“It’s a trip, like honestly, I never thought I’d be a teacher and when I was a student here I never imagined having this opportunity,” Walker said. “I loved my time at MC, I really did, it was a really good experience for me, it was not always easy, but it was good. There’s mostly new faculty, there’s a few people who recognize me from my time here as a student, but for the most part I’m able to come here with a clean slate.”
Walker is happy to have returned to her old high school, however strange it may have felt initially.
“I love being back, I love being a Sundevil again,” Walker said. “I was interviewing for jobs at a couple other schools but in my heart I always wanted to come back here.”
For Dani Schelhorse, an English teacher, coming to teach at MC just means getting reacquainted.
“I’m the soccer coach here, and I have been for sixteen years,” Schelhorse said. “I love the Sundevil Way, I bleed red, so I’m excited to be back after six years away.”
Those six years were spent at two different high schools, due to budget cuts, but Schelhorse is pleased to return to MC after her time away.
“The kids are so nice, it made it all worth it, the moving and all,” Schelhorse said. “I had a good time at Poway and Del Norte, but it’s good to be back where I belong. Sundevils forever.”
Raelene Halbert moved from the balmy metropolis of Las Vegas to sunny San Diego to teach English here at MC.
“I’m really excited to be here,” Halbert said. “Everyone’s so nice, everyone’s so friendly and welcoming.”
Halbert enjoys working with her fellow staff members because of the way they work together.
“I’m looking forward to the fact that all of the teachers really work together and collaborate,” Halbert said. “Not only that but they get along. It’s just nice to work with other people who are passionate about the same thing you are, and are passionate about working together to make sure that we’re doing whats best for all of our students.”
MC’s new French teacher, Carol Vivona, came from Fallbrook High School, and admires the spirit that the students bring to the school.
“It’s a pretty awesome school, I love the spirit here,” Vivona said. “I love how the pep rally day kids wear so much red; at least 95 percent of the kids wearing red is a really awesome thing to see. I really enjoy the students spirit so much.”
Vivona also enjoys the challenge of a new school, and is looking forward to a certain student achievement in the course of her teaching.
“It’s kind of exciting too, to jump into something and see it through new eyes, it refreshes you, I really like that,” Vivona said. “I’m really looking forward to the kids beginning to actually speak French, and that’s always the point where I feel like I’m really doing my job.”
Gigi Hornilla, MC’s new science teacher, has traveled a long way to find herself back in San Diego.
“We moved from Germany,” Hornilla said. “I’m excited to back in the states. We were there for my husband’s job, and that’s what brought us here as well.”
While in Germany, Hornilla was unable to find a permant teaching position, so she substituted instead, and now that she is at MC, she is looking forward to metting her new students.
“I was pretty excited to get the opportunity,” Hornilla said. “When we moved here I looked forward to meeting all the students and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far. I was a substitute teacher in Germany, and this different from sub teaching for sure.”
Hornilla also commented on the feeling of the school, and the postitivty.
“It’s a huge difference in the culture of the school, you can immediately feel a positive vibe, there’s support and encouragement, smiles, people aren’t grumbly,” Hornilla said. “Very good positive support and I thinks that’s all about the Sundevil Way.
MC has gained a resource teacher in the form of Lori Henderson, who teaches learning strategies for seniors, and also English and civics. Her last school environment differed substantially from MC.
“My last school was in Lancaster, 60 miles north of Los Angeles in the desert,” Henderson said. “It’s different because the socioeconomics are very different, there’s very low socioecomics and most of the demographic was African-American and Hispanic, and the general education level was a lot lower than here, so the kids here are very different.”
Henderson reiterates the sentiments that the other staff members of expressed about the attitude of the school.
“There’s a lot more connection with the student to the school and the staff definitely echos that, I think it’s partly the staff that makes it that way, that encourages it,” Henderson said. “There’s definitely that connection and a pride that the students have in their school.”
MC will likely benefit from gaining these teachers, who are invested and optimistic about the year ahead. They have expressed what a unique school this is, and others are inclined to agree. As Schelhorse said, “Sundevils forever.”