Fresh Faculty Faces at LASA

Lasya Sangana, Staffer

As students pour into classes again, many are being taught by unfamiliar faces. Since COVID-19, there have been more than a couple of teachers who have left LASA that have been swapped with new ones. Similar to the freshman class, new teachers have also been finding the ropes around a new school. 

First-year Electronic Magazine teacher Nancy Zamora talked about her experiences with the difference between teaching at her former school, Richmond Elementary, and LASA. So far, she loves the change.

“They [LASA students] are incredibly capable as well,” Zamora said. “I’m just here to support and teach what I know.”

According to Zamora, the dedication of LASA students to their learning pleasantly surprised her. Zamora didn’t know much about LASA prior to teaching here, and was initially unaware that she worked at one of the best schools in the nation, according to US News. 

“Everyone is having really intelligent conversations too,” Zamora said. “I’m getting emails at two or three in the morning when kids are turning in their work. That’s crazy.”

New Chemistry teacher Joel Barton agreed with Zamora’s sentiment. Prior to coming to LASA, he taught at Kealing middle school, and believes that LASA offers a relatively flexible learning environment.

“I think both students and teachers seem they’re given a lot of choices about how to accomplish what they’re supposed to accomplish,” Barton said. “So students are told what they’re going to need to know or what they’re going to need to produce by a given date, and they’re given the tools to do it.”

Barton is also excited about LASA’s performing arts, especially after hearing good things about Coffeehouse and the Twelfth Night, this year’s theater production. He looks forward to being a part of the LASA community by supporting the marching band, as well as other LASA sports.

“I went to a volleyball game last week…my parents actually came out, and we watched the volleyball game together,” Barton said. “So that was fun.”

New French and Spanish teacher Nancy Alanis is also eager to engage with the clubs and sports at LASA. Alanis hopes to use these LASA traditions and groups to bring excitement into her classroom as well.

“I believe high academic standards and fun make the perfect union,” Alanis said. “I hope to bring the excitement of the arts and performance into the language setting to make the language practical, fun, and applicable to real life.”

Alanis agrees that LASA is fast-paced and comes with a heavy workload, but she has a desire for her students to experience the language outside the classroom as well. She, along with Barton and Zamora, believe that LASA students are driven by initiative and desire to excel.

With a little insight into their experiences so far, new teachers such as Zamora, Barton, and Alanis are overall eager to see what the rest of the school year has in store for them.

“I love the huge windows,” Zamora said. “I love all the courtyards. I love the personality of the kids and their devotion to their work. I love the opportunities provided in just the classes alone that you guys have…I just want to see how that goes this year.”