The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

New Teachers Join Staff With Diverse Experiences

Every year there is a new group of teachers that come to school in all different subject areas. This year there are newcomers in the social studies, math and foreign language departments. Below are their some of their stories:

Jeanne Yu

After teaching at many different schools, Jeanne Yu is teaching Algebra 2 and trigonometry this year.

Yu taught sixth grade for three years and high school for three years in Los Angeles. She then went to India and taught high school math. Back to the United States, she worked with seventh and eighth graders in San Jose. However, she wanted to get back to teaching high school and applied to Los Altos.

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“I knew Los Altos was a really good school district. I knew that the students must be hard working and motivated and I heard the teachers must be really good,” Yu said.

Yu was a film major at MIT who worked in the film industry for five years reading scripts and looking for projects.

“I decided I wasn’t totally passionate about that and I’d give teaching math a try since I love math and I like tutoring people,” Yu said.

Even though she left film, Yu has wants to include it in her teaching. She worked with a her high school students to create a documentary, “Palayan: A Story of Exodus,” that has won an award and is selling on Amazon. Qhile teaching middle school in San Jose, Yu taught a TV class, whose creations made it on public access.
Yu says that she learned about the school’s focus on helping to develop the whole student, not just academic, which is something she has a particular interest in.

“I’m looking forward to working with the students the most. I want to meet all the different personalities and people and work with you guys,” Yu said.

Kelly Coble

Kelly Coble will be teaching CWI and World Studies this year, the same classes she taught as a student teacher.

Prospective teachers are randomly placed at a school as student teachers. Coble ended up with history teacher Pete Bjorklund. During the fall semester she observed, and in the spring she took over two classes.

“I was with Mr. Bjorklund so I had tons of fun last year and then was lucky enough that the position opened up for me,” Coble said.
Coble will also be a freshman advisor.

For Coble, teaching has always been a part of her life.

“My whole life I kind of knew I wanted to be a teacher but I denied it and put in the back of my brain. I tried lots of different things in high school and in college… I never told anyone until my junior, senior year of college [that I wanted to be a teacher],” Coble said.
Coble was a history major at USC and worked for nonprofits to help underprivileged youth.

Now that she is at the school, Coble hopes to be able to work more with the community.

“I’m most looking forward to learning more about the school community, the community as a whole and getting to work with more students,” Coble said.

Steve Walker

After years teaching at the college and community college level, Steve Walker has come to the school to teach geometry and trigonometry.

Walker has previously taught high school in the Fresno Unified School District and at the college level at both Humbolt State and College of the Redwoods.

“At the community college and the university level I found that a lot of students are not prepared to [be at] the college level for one reason to another,” Walker said.

Because of this, when he saw an open position at the school he decided to go back to teaching high school to help students prepare for college.

As student, Walker experienced the need to be properly prepared in high school for college. As a military child, he went to 13 schools before graduating high school. At his third high school he found himself unprepared and worked every day until 6 p.m. on his studies, especially math, until he caught up.

“Once the ‘ah ha’ happened , once I finally got it, I was that afraid I would forget it,” Walker said.

It was this fear of not retaining the knowledge that caused him to begin helping to tutor other students in math during his free time.

“When I went to college [and] I didn’t really have a direction, someone knew that I had the ability to take the abstractness of math concepts [to anyone]…That’s how I became an official math teacher.”

Now that he is coming to Los Altos, Walker says he is looking forward to “getting back into the high school classroom.”

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