By: Agnessa Kasumyan
The new semester began with the departure of three teachers. Algebra 2 Honors teacher Galina Diankova and auto shop teacher Yervant Ghazarian officially resigned from their posts. Math teacher Stephen Wong took a leave of absence for an undetermined amount of time.
Claude Phan has taken over Diankova’s classes. According to Principal Jennifer Earl, she “could have interviewed 20 people” and would have still chosen Phan because he is a young, “fresh” teacher excited to teach at the school.
It is Phan’s first teaching job having recently graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in mathematics and a teaching credential.
According to Phan, he feels “excited to be teaching math” at the school. He finds that his students in Statistics are doing well with a new teacher and have already gotten used to him, whereas the freshmen in his Algebra 1 class are younger and a “little rough” because they are still getting used to him.
Wong’s students have been placed in other math classes, increasing the number of students for teachers like Astrid Marachelian.
Marachelian believes that the increase in students has made classroom management difficult. Because all the seats in her classrooms are full, she cannot move any disruptive students around the classroom because there is no room.
This semester, Marachelian has noticed a decrease in student performance.
“There are many students, so if I want to check their work individually to make sure they follow up with their work, it takes away from time that I can be using to answer questions and help students,” Marachelian said.
The auto shop will be closed for the rest of the semester until a replacement teacher is found. According to Earl, Ghazarian left his teaching position to participate in a worldwide racing contest in a car that he built on his own.
While administrators were notified of Ghazarian’s resignation and Wong’s leave of absence, Diankova’s departure was a surprise. The exact reason for her departure remains unknown; although some students who were close to Diankova said she told them she was moving to Northern California.