Beginning next semester, four teachers will either be teaching fewer periods they teach or leaving entirely. History teacher Robert Freeman and math teacher Susan Friedeberg will be taking semester long leaves of absence. Math teacher Shelley Carranza will be reducing the number of periods she teaches. Instructional Aid Aubree Waldorf will be leaving the school permanently.
During the Monday, December 10 school board meeting, Freeman’s temporary leave was approved. As the founder, director and executive director of the nonprofit group One Dollar For Life (ODFL), he says he is leaving to strengthen it.
Over the past five years, ODFL has built 14 schools in developing countries. In addition, ODFL has completed infrastructure projects, and sent books, legos, computers and medical supplies to the needy around the world.
“There’s 16 million high school students in America,” Freeman said. “It costs us about $10,000 to build a school … You can do the math. If we can get every high school student in America to give one dollar we can build more than a 1,000 schools every year in the developing world.”
Since it was founded, ODFL has been organizing fundraisers, collecting money, communicating with the countries it donates to and designing the projects. After spending five years with science teacher Lisa Cardellini to get ODFL working, Freeman wants to “scale” the efforts of the club up.
“So why now?” Freeman said. “We will be on TV; we’re winning all these awards, I think that the time is now to really capitalize on the moment.”
Although rooted in Los Altos High School, ODFL has been adopted by other high schools across the nation. States such as Hawaii, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio and New Jersey have held ODFL For example, Hawaii had an ODFL drive to build a school in Indonesia.
The administration has begun hiring to replace Freeman (top right). Even if the teacher does not satisfy the same requirements as Freeman does, the History Department can switch around teachers to fill the periods.
“I am so thankful for Los Altos High School,” Freeman said. “[ODFL] germinated here, and the administration has been very very supportive of the students here … It’s started here, and has brought a lot of good-will to Los Altos High School.”
Friedeberg will be taking a leave of absence next semester. She will remain at the school until the end of this semester and plans to return next fall.
“It was a very hard decision for me, I love working here, I love my job,” Friedeberg said. “I am really going to miss my students.”
As of press time, a replacement had not yet been found. However, the school plans to have a teacher ready to fill her space at the start of next semester.
Carranza will be reducing her course load from five periods to four next semester.
The school board approved her request at the Monday, December 10 meeting.
She will no longer be teaching her first period, but she will continue with her other classes.
Carranza wants to spend more time with her two young children.
Waldorf’s resignation from her position will be effective at the beginning of second semester. This was also approved at the Monday, December 10 school board meeting.
She did not respond to requests for comment.