The Voice

Welcome New Teachers to Pres!

Madie Fujimoto, Christina Dobbek, and Amanda Teano

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The Voice welcomes the 12 new teachers to the Presentation Community as well as English teacher Ann Ponikvar, who taught at Presentation for many years before retiring in 2015 and Julia Asada, who will be working part-time in the Advancement Office.

 

Ms. Arild

Where did you work before coming to Presentation? 

“Before I was at Pres, I was at Menlo College and I studied psychology and played volleyball there. Also, while I was doing that, I’ve been coaching volleyball the last five years.”

What current trends amongst students do you find baffling/strange?

“Is it true that high school students don’t exchange phone numbers, they just exchange Snapchat accounts? That shocked me. I heard about that after the most recent mixer.”

What did you want to be when you were younger?

“I was convinced I was gonna be a lawyer. Strong will and a want to believe my views and opinions are always right. I learned to be more reasonable and I grew out of that.”

 

Ms. Arthur

Where did you work before coming to Presentation?

“I worked at a school called Houston Academy in Alabama.”

What current trends amongst students do you find baffling/strange?

“The slang like lit and words like that. Woke. Swol. It just sounds uneducated.”

Have you ever been out of the country? If yes, where did you go and what was your favorite part about it?

“I have been to Canada, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Brazil, South Korea, Italy, Romania and Ukraine … Traveling in general is the best and I think everyone should do it because you realize, well first of all, it’s good to experience other cultures in their natural settings, but it’s also cool to realize how people are the same even though they’re different. Cultures might be different, but ultimately people are the same wherever you go.”

 

Ms. Baroni 

Where did you work before coming to Presentation?

“I first began teaching … at Lynbrook High School for two years, then I taught at Pres until my first daughter was born. I stayed at home with my daughters for most of the last 17 years, occasionally teaching a class at Pres. “

What current trends amongst students do you find baffling/strange?

“I don’t get boba tea. Not a fan.”

Have you ever been out of the country? If yes, where did you go and what was your favorite part about it?

“My favorite trip out of the country was when we traveled in 2010 to China to adopt my youngest daughter. Meeting her was the highlight – and it was amazing to spend two weeks in China, most of it in the city where she had lived for 5 years. Learning about the culture and getting to know her was life changing.”

 

Ms. Bernal

Where did you work before coming to Presentation?

“Before coming to Pres, I worked at Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School, which is another Catholic high school in San Jose.”

What Hogwarts House would you be sorted into?

“I’ve thought a lot about this. I was a beta tester on Pottermore before it became a real website. I was able to get on the night that they opened it… I got sorted the first time, I was Hufflepuff… Some people hate on Hufflepuff but I always look at it as the house that you value the most… You value loyalty and friendship above all other things, which for me is true.”

Have you ever been out of the country? What was the best part of that?

“This summer I went to Costa Rica. I got to see a sloth. On a night hike, there was a sloth in a bush that we walked by, and it came out and almost grabbed my leg.”

 

Mr. Canzano

Where did you work before coming to Presentation?

“Well, I still work as a church Organist up in Aptos… I worked in a lab preparing materials.”

Any mottos or mantras you follow?

“Mozart said once, and this is paraphrasing, ‘Love is the soul of genius.’… I just tell people to get excited, and if they do that, the rest will fall into place.”

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

“Telekinesis. Psychokinesis. I would just never move and just have everything come to me. I would just sit in my chair all day and use the ultimate power of laziness.”

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

“Oh my god. I think about this constantly. I wish I didn’t have to sleep. I’d use my extra time to write music or play video games.”

 

Ms. Deak

Where did you work before coming to Presentation?

“School wise I worked in South San Francisco at Parkway Heights Middle School. But I’m also an artist. I am a printmaker.”

What current trends amongst students do you find baffling/strange?

“The only trend I’ve noticed is that everyone has this lululemon bag and I feel like I need to get one.”

What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?

“Right now, one motto I’ve adopted is the Four Agreements. It’s a Native American Toltec which is Mesoamerican. [It is:] Be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions [and] always do your best.”

 

Ms. Fitzpatrick

Where did you work before coming to Presentation?

“I have worked at a public high school, both here in California and Florida. I worked for Stanford University, and I also worked at Washington State University”

Do you have a morning, pre-teaching routine to get excited to teach class?

“I have a bit of a drive to get into work, so I put on some fun music and get myself excited for the day. Coffee helps too!”

If you were able to talk to a person who has died, who would you talk to?

“My nanna. She passed away a few years ago, and my little girl is just a baby, and I’d love for her to meet her again and see how big she is now. They would’ve loved each other.”

 

Mr. Goodman

Where did you work before coming to Presentation? 

“I worked at Vermillion High School in South Dakota.”

If you had to give up teaching, what would you do instead?

“I like creative writing, so I’d probably write stories of some sort.”

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

“I love sleeping. I would probably still sleep.”

Have you ever been out of the country? If yes, where did you go and what was your favorite part about it?

“My favorite trip that I ever took was to the Galapagos Islands. It was a cruise- a small cruise ship – so you could feel the waves and stuff which was fun. We visited different islands and learned the history, nature and evolution there.”

 

Ms. Hoelzer

Where did you work before coming to Presentation?

“Prior to just being exclusively a mom, I did teach at Brigham Young University. I taught night classes for them as well as a private school in Sandy, UT, Waterford.”

What current trends amongst students do you find baffling/strange?

“I think it’s funny that Birkenstocks are back in style. I remember wearing them a long time ago. They’re comfortable, not necessarily attractive.”

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

“I know what I should be doing- I should be cleaning my house. I’d probably get caught up on episodes of Big Bang Theory and actually watch Downtown Abbey. I’ve never seen a single episode and one of these days I want to watch them all.”

 

Ms. Hurlston

Where did you work before coming to Presentation? 

“Most recent position was in Washington D.C. And the school name is Elsie Whitlow Stokes Communtiy Freedom Public Charter School. [I did] a number of things but my last position was parent coordinator and coordinator for the Saturday programs.”

Have you ever been out of the country? If yes, where did you go and what was your favorite part about it?

“Yes, I lived out of the country. In the Cayman Islands. That is 90 miles south from Cuba and I forget how many miles west of Jamaica. So it’s in the western Caribbean. [My favorite part was the] beach.”

What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?

“Honestly, be true to self. That’s really important because you can’t live your life by how others feel you should be. You’d be very unhappy.”

 

Ms. Wilson

Where did you work before coming to Presentation?

“I used to teach at Holy Spirit School. Before that, I taught at Nativity Schools. And prior to that I worked in politics doing different political consultant work.”

What current trends amongst students do you find baffling/strange?

“Dabbing really bothered me last year. And the water bottle flipping, but those are more middle school things.”

Have you ever been out of the country? If yes, where did you go and what was your favorite part about it?

“I went to Spain with Ms. Bohorquez and Ms. Lagana…. [Ms. Newton] and Ms. Lagana used to be really good friends, and they actually bought a whole pig to eat in Spain. They were just really fun and adventurous so they made the trip really fun.”

 

Ms. Zirbes

Where did you work before coming to Presentation?

“I was in Redwood City and I taught junior high English and then before that I was teaching high school English in LA.”

What current trends amongst students do you find baffling/strange?

“Not sleeping. I’m a ten hour person. I need ten hours. Oh [and] I hate [the fidget spinners]. At my old school I had a drawer filled [with them]. They are just a distraction.”

If you had to give up teaching, what would you do instead?

“I would probably do something with medicine, but I don’t like blood. I would want to be like a vet or something. I love animals. I just can’t do the blood.”

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Welcome New Teachers to Pres!