In the past month, the school has hired new staff members to fill the places of teachers who have left or are temporarily on leave. English teacher Lindsey Regoli will not return until next year. History teacher Kelly Coble has reduced her course load for an indefinite amount of time. English teacher Alise Miller, Spanish teacher Kim Hanley and student conduct liaison Heidi Galvez have left the school.
English teacher Lindsey Regoli began her maternity leave on October 30 and plans to take the rest of the school year off, and then come back and teach for the 2014-2015 school year.
Marco Castaneda has taken over Regoli’s classes. Castaneda, a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Stanford Education Program, has been teaching since he graduated from Stanford 11 years ago. Castaneda was previously a teacher at a charter school for five years and a private school for six years, both in San Francisco. While Castaneda enjoyed teaching up in the city, this year he decided to move to a new school.
“I kind of wanted to get away from the private school system and get back into public education,” Castaneda said. “There were some things that just sort of felt like [the private school] was missing.”
English teacher Alise Miller left the school and will not be returning. Miller’s husband was offered a promotion in Sacramento, so the couple decided to move out of Los Altos.
Robert Barker has taken over Miller’s English classes. Barker moved with his family up from the Los Angeles area, where he taught at a public high school. He studied playwriting and screenwriting in graduate school. Initially, Barker began his career trying to make it as a screenwriter down in Los Angeles; however, he ultimately switched over to teaching.
Castaneda and Barker will be teaching at the school for the rest of the year. The decision for them to continue teaching next year will be made after going through an evaluation process that all teachers must go through.
History teacher Kelly Coble has exchanged her second and third period AP Modern European History classes for history teacher Todd Wangsness’ second period World Studies and history teacher Stephanie Downey’s third period World Studies. The exchange is to allow Coble to focus on her medical issues.
“I am sad to say that I am reducing my teaching load as I will be out for the remaining of the semester due to medical reasons,” Coble said. “It was a very difficult decision, but my treatment dictates that I have to be out… I am already counting down the days until I get well and come back.”
Coble is making lesson plans for her new World Studies classes for the rest of the semester. Meanwhile, temporary substitutes have been teaching her classes.
No definite arrangements for the rest of the semester or year have been made.
Spanish teacher Kim Hanley has left for undisclosed reasons. Hanley’s Spanish II and IV periods are being taught by Spanish teachers Antonio Murillo and John Allen. Murillo has taken over four of Hanley’s periods, while the fifth class has been taken over by Allen. In exchange, Murillo has also taken over Allen’s third period Spanish III class.
Greg Lucas, a new teacher from Oregon, is taking over three of Murillo’s Spanish II classes to let Murillo teach Hanley’s and Allen’s classes. Lucas will be teaching these three classes for the remainder of the first semester.
After the first semester, MVHS Spanish teacher Dayana Swank will be taking over Lucas’ classes.
“[Swank] is already teaching at MVHS,” Hughes said. “She is teaching for a teacher who is out on leave at MVHS until the end of this semester, so when she’s done with that she’s going to teach for us.”
Student conduct liaison Heidi Galvez left the school on November 1 to become a special education counselor for the Amador County Office of Education in Jackson, California.
“I have been trying to find a counseling position for a few years, but with the education budget cuts, counseling is one of the first positions cut, so there are not many counseling positions available,” Galvez said. “I’m excited to take on this new challenge but will definitely miss the staff and students at LAHS. I’m hoping one day I will return to LAHS, maybe as a Special Education Teacher, since I am working on finishing my special education teaching credential.”
The school administration is currently interviewing potential candidates to replace Heidi, as of the press deadline.