BETH SORENSEN & EMMA JURGENSEN
After a relaxing summer, coming back to school is often an exciting time for everyone. People are reunited with the familiar faces of their friends and teachers around campus. But some faces you may not recognize: this year San Marcos High School welcomes many new teachers to The Pride. The new members of the history department include Zachary Eichert, Kristin Hempy, and Ryan Mooneyham. The English department’s new additions are Liz Grill, Kelly Keene, and Stephanie Recine. The Entrepreneurship Academy now has Marla Friedler, the Construction Technology/English department received Justin Howe, the Chemistry department welcomes Susan Park, and the Physics and Math department’s new additions are Todd Ruskauff and Kathryn Placentini.
Mrs. Park is a new chemistry teacher who graduated from California Polytechnic State University at Pomona and grew up in Pasadena. She has had 28 years of teaching experience at Santa Barbara High School.
The new physics teacher, Mr. Ruskauff graduated from University of California at Santa Barbara and grew up here in Santa Barbara. Last year he student taught at San Marcos High School in Mr. Bradley’s class. He wanted to become a physics teacher because he loves physics, the exchange of ideas, and working with teenagers. Also, he thought teaching will make a positive impact in the world and there was a need for good teachers. His favorite thing about teaching at San Marcos is to be able to teach physics to the freshmen.
“He is excited about teaching us. He applies his studies in philosophy to make us think deeper into physics,” said freshman Valentina Vegas, a student of Mr. Ruskauff.
Mr. Howe is a Woodshop and English teacher who graduated from Cal State Long Beach. He grew up in Camarillo. He was a staff substitute and a student teacher at Huntington Beach High School. This is his first full time teaching job.
“I’ve always wanted to become a teacher. I thought there was a fundamental flaw in the way I was taught growing up,” said Mr. Howe. “I’ve always thought that high school students should be talked with instead of at.”
“He really enjoys teaching, you can tell it in his eyes,” said freshman Finn Gamble of Mr. Howe.
These are just a few of the many wonderful new teachers this year. San Marcos High School is very lucky to have such a dedicated new staff.