San Benito High School is welcoming a set of new teachers and staff members for the 2015-16 school year, featuring a mix of employees that includes some returning to their alma mater.
"I am very proud of our new certificated and classified staff, as they bring strong backgrounds of success working with students, staff, and parents," said Shawn Tennenbaum. the human resources director of the San Benito High School District. "Our new staff members are extremely talented with a variety of experiences and skills that will build upon the excellent group of staff members already in the district."
Among the new hires:
– Elaine Klauer, an SBHS and U.C. Santa Barbara alumnu\a and recently the principal of Rancho San Justo School in Hollister, is a new assistant principal. Her hiring was announced at the end of the past school year, but she began working at the high school this summer.
– Joseph Martin, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grad, is the new teacher for the Foundations of Agriculture & Industrial Technology/ Ag Fabrication classes. He has previous teaching experience in Lompoc, Salinas and Sobrato High School.
– Joanne (Jo) Carruth, another SBHS alumna, was hired at her alma mater as an English teacher.
– Bryn Falkenberry, a graduate of CSU Monterey Bay, was hired in the math department. He previously was the math tutor for the Academic Skills and Achievement Program at CSUMB.
– Another new math teacher is Elizabeth Scalmanini, a CSUMB grad who previously taught math at Savannah High School in Georgia.
– Fred Latimore, who will be the girls' water polo coach, will be a math teacher at San Benito. The graduate of Arizona State University previously taught at South Valley Middle School in Gilroy.
– Science teacher Keith Gonzalez comes to San Benito from North Monterey County High School in Castroville. He has been a teacher for more than 20 years, including a stint at Alvarez High School in Salinas.
– New science teacher Patrick Martin earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and a master's degree in education from U.C. Santa Cruz.
– Spanish teacher Leticia Villegas returns to SBHS, where she previously taught. She has a bachelor's degree in Spanish with a minor in Mexican American studies from San Jose State University and has taught multiple levels of Spanish at Gilroy High, Hartnell College and Emerson Junior/Senior High School in New Jersey.
– Amber Fisher joins the school's expanding American Sign Language program. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Penn State University and grew up in a signing-only household.
– Michelle Fisher is the district's new mental health and behavior specialist. The graduate of San Jose University holds a bachelor of arts degree in social work and a master's degree in counseling from Chapman University.
– Vicente Ramirez-Carillo is the coordinator of the revamped AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program. The Zamora, Mexico native taught economics, government, and history at Christopher High School and history at the Adelante Summer School Program in Napa.
– Fresno State grad Lindsay McIntire is the district's new speech language therapist.
– Debbi Parcell is a new resource teacher, having previously taught for 18 years at Rancho San Justo. The Chico State grad has been a teacher for 20 years.
– Resource teacher Ruth Testman will also be the new girls' varsity volleyball coach. The Chico native earned her bachelor of arts degree at Chico State.
– Resource teacher Chris Evans, a Baler alumnus, will coach with the Baler football and wrestling programs. The graduate of Harding University previously taught at McLane High School in Fresno.
– Mario Prado, another new resource teacher, earned a bachelor's degree in social and behavioral sciences in social history with a minor in global studies.
New classified employees welcomed to the district at the start of the school year included:
– Liliana Alba-Bermejo, a U.C. San Diego graduate who will serve as the district's language translator and attendance clerk.
– Nydia Martinez is the district's new ROP (Regional Occupational Program)/career specialist. The San Francisco State grad also earned a master's in counseling from Sonoma State. She previously worked in the student center operations office at Sonoma State and the Morgan Hill Unified School District as a bilingual home/school liaison.
– Recent Baler grad Jorge Perez was hired as a transport driver and is coaching football. He attended the Citadel Military College of South Carolina and previously served as a classified substitute and Gifted Games volunteer at SBHS.
"It is exciting to have such a well-balanced class of educators who come to us with previous experiences, as well as the number of Baler alumni who chose to once again be a part of the San Benito team," Tennenbaum said. "We are extremely fortunate to have such a great group of new staff members join our district."