I am new to Pomona High School, but not new to teaching. I taught high school in Denver Public Schools for six years and served as an adjunct professor at the Community College of Denver and Azusa Pacific University in Southern California. I have a master’s in English and am getting my doctorate in education at CU Denver. I love teaching and leading students and work very hard to continue to get better at my job. I believe in educating every single student, allowing them to be who they are, and being cognizant of equity and equality issues.
I taught college classes specifically so I could see what it really meant to be “college ready.” The three things I saw emphasized the most in higher education were reading comprehension of complex texts, composition writing, and research documentation. Those will also be what we are focused on in our class. (These fall within the curriculum required by Jefferson County Schools, so rest assured I’m in line with district standards.) Even if a student does not intend to go to college, he/she will benefit from what we are doing. I try to communicate with every lesson how it will connect to the next lesson, the next objective, the next class, and real life after graduation. It may seem as though there are not very many graded assignments. This is purposely done to replicate college courses, which often only have a handful of tests/essays that determine the entire grade. That said, I am always willing to accept late and make-up work. My goal is never to trick students into a bad grade. I use grades merely as benchmarks to keep us accountable for what we’re trying to cover. Comprehension and understanding is the main objective.
I also appreciate that students have many responsibilities beyond school, so I try to give enough time in class to accomplish everything we need to get done. (That also aligns with my education philosophy of equity and equality, since not all students have the same resources at home.) This means it is entirely possible that if you ask your son/daughter if they have any English homework, they are telling truth if they respond “no.” We will work hard, though, and I believe there will be significant growth in their language skills.
One of my personal teaching goals for this year is to do a better job of informing parents about what we are doing in class. This website is the beginning of that. However, if you have any questions at all about a grade or how a student is progressing, please do not hesitate to contact me. Email is by far the best, but I also have voicemail.
Finally, let me just say this: We have the same goal in mind. We both want to make sure your son/daughter is successful and continues to grow as a student and person. Even though I have 140 students, I am willing to do whatever I can to help each one. Please communicate with me if you have any concerns.