NPHS reminisces departing staffs’ legacies

Kathy Barker

After working at NPHS for 11 and a half years as the school’s event coordinator, Mrs. Barker has decided to retire this year. At school, Barker works behind the scenes to ensure all International Days, Club Rushes and other school activities are a success. “I know (administration) does the best that we can to get clubs prepared for Club Days, and watching students on Club Day sell their goods is very memorable,” Barker said.

Always making sure to support the students on campus, Barker is an advocate for student participation in clubs. “I think its really important to (be) involved in school activities; if you are not in a sport, choir or other organizations its really important (that) students participate in school activities through clubs. It gives them a place to belong and work with other students,” Barker said.

Barker’s affinity towards students stemmed from her passion of helping others. “I have 3 kids, and when they were younger we were always the house that everyone stayed (at), so I have always had a good relationship with the students and young people in general.”

Throughout her years at NPHS, Barker has loved working with the students, helping coordinate Club Days and watching graduation. Barker will miss coming to school everyday and getting to see familiar faces, whether students or faculty members. “I am going to definitely miss working with students, whether it is one-on-one, or as I group, I am very much going to miss being around so many great kids,” Barker said.

 

Eduardo Flores

Eduardo Flores, Spanish teacher, has decided to leave NPHS after 12 years of teaching at the school.

“I’m taking a year off and then deciding if I’ll come back to teaching officially. I might move from city to city. The goal is to try to work with a school and get a feel for the kids; if I like the community, if I like the kids, maybe I’ll stay there,” Flores explained.

His decision to leave is mostly financial. “I’ll most likely be moving out of state so that I can actually afford a place to live. I’ve just decided it’s time for something new.”

In his years at NPHS, Flores has been an active player in school activities, advising Latinos Unidos, Jewish club, Engineering club and working with Teens Teach Tech.

“Advising Latinos Unidos was a no-brainer– I’m one of the few Latino teachers here. When it came to the other clubs, like Jewish club and Engineering club, no one wanted to represent them. I work because of (the students). People needed me, so I did it.”

Despite his resignation, Flores assured he appreciated his time here. “I enjoy every day for the most part. Every day is a new day,” Flores said.

Adding a sarcastic quip in his typical manner, “I get new kids every year. You might think you’re my favorite, but you’ll get replaced eventually, that’s how it works.”

Rachel Kim, senior, and one of the aforementioned “temporary favorites,” was Flores’ student for Spanish 2 and 3 during her freshman year. “Since then, he has been one of the most supportive teachers,” Kim said.

Kim speaks for many of his students when she says: “His dedication to making sure each of his students had the optimal opportunity to learn was so inspiring. He was so kind and made his class so fun with creative projects, song fill-in-the-blanks and joking with us.”

As a final word of advice to his students Flores wants them to remember: “Put time in and work hard. Invest in yourself and your education to become the best version of yourself. Don’t settle for mediocrity.”

 

Nella Hauser

Nella Hauser first grew to love Spanish when she was in high school and has been paying it forward by teaching Spanish for the past 26 years, 16 of which have been at NPHS.

“I loved studying Spanish and traveling and using Spanish. When I was in high school I knew that that was what I wanted to do,” Hauser said.

Jill Walker, freshman, has been with Hauser for both Spanish 1 and Spanish 2, so she has “built (her) foundation of Spanish.”

“From my experience, she’s always been very kind and patient,” Walker said.

Although Hauser adores teaching, she has decided to retire in order to spend more time with her family.

“Teaching is magical – I love it – but I have 3 new grandchildren under the age of two and they don’t live here so I have to go see them,” Hauser said.

Hauser’s enthusiasm for teaching was also apparent to Walker.

“I’ll miss how excited she was to teach,” Walker said. “She always smiled constantly and was really excited to teach us a new verb tense or something like that.”

After retiring, Hauser plans on continuing to fulfill her passion for travel.

“When school starts in August I’ll actually be in Russia,” Hauser said. “Then we’re going to rent a house in Lake Tahoe this summer for a whole bunch of people.”

When not exploring the world, she runs a pet-sitting and dog-boarding business with her husband.

“We watch little dogs and my husband works from home and then I can be home after school, so that’s been my hobby,” Hauser said.

After reflecting on how education has shaped her life, Hauser advises students: “Keep learning. Learn everything you can about anything and everything.”

 

Cynthia Herbert-Scanlon (Herb)

Cynthia Herbert-Scanlon (Herb, as she likes to be called) has been teaching for about 20 years, 12 of those years being at Newbury Park.

Originally, she did not know what exactly it was she wanted to do as a career, however, throughout the course of her life, especially after having kids, she realized that she simply loved to teach.

Upon her arrival at NPHS, she began the American Sign Language (ASL) program and currently teaches all three levels.

Herb says that her favorite part about teaching is watching people have “‘a-ha”’ moments, as she calls them, as well as having students come back in to tell her that she has changed or touched their life in some way. “It feels likes there’s a purpose for all when that happens,” Herb said.

Though setting out, she is not yet ready to retire. She hopes to move to Oregon with her husband and be closer to her son, while trying her best to make those around her happy along the way.

“(Teaching) has made me grow so much because, in order to be a better teacher, I had to be a better person … I don’t think I would be as good of a person as I am now, or trying to be, if I had not been a teacher,” Herb said.

The most important part of her job to her was the students themselves. Though she will be sad to leave them, she continues to hope the best for them, even the ones she has not had.

“Just go out there and be you… (and) know that you are loved and cared about,” Herb said.

 

Robin Lilly

Robin Lilly, English teacher, is driven by a desire to encourage student development. It all began when Lilly was a writing tutor in college.

“I really loved helping people find their voice and be able to articulate their thoughts,” Lilly said. “I saw writing as a means for not just to communicate, but also to learn and develop our own thinking about a topic.”

After working for several years in corporate America, Lilly was looking for a change. “(I) wanted to be part of the solution rather than the problem,” Lilly said, and so she left the world of business to pursue teaching. “In a lot of ways it was almost like a patriotic calling to help create an informed population.”

Thus began her mission of fostering intellectual and personal development in students. Teaching a variety of English classes over the past 14 years, Lilly focuses on positive education and a student-led learning environment.

When asked about her teaching style, Lilly said, “Well in some ways I would say you should ask the students about that. I think my goal has always been to create a student-centered environment.”

In addition to giving students more agency in their own education, Lilly has emphasized positive education by incorporating wellness activities into her classroom and recognizing the importance of mental health. She noted that since she started teaching in 2004, she has seen a tremendous rise in depression and anxiety amongst students.

“Again, I couldn’t just stand by and contribute to that,” Lilly said. “It’s the culture of the classroom that student well being is important to me as much as their academic success.”

Watching her students succeed is what makes Lilly love teaching. “All those times when students have taught me something or have gone in a direction that surprised … those are the most valuable moments to me,” Lilly said.

For her dedication to students, Lilly is being recognized by the National Honor Society with the Lifetime Achievement award. After leaving NPHS, Lilly plans to pursue her Ph.D. and continue to work in education. She is interested in working in professional development for teachers, positive education, and curriculum development.

“It’s the students that make it worth it. If there’s ever a day where I don’t feel like going to work, as soon as students walk in the room I’m okay,” Lilly said.

She views her time here critical to her own development and values the collaborative relationship she has had with her colleagues.

As she says goodbye to her students, Lilly has one final lesson to leave them with: “Above all be kind to one another, and see one another as human beings, and question your answers.”

 

Linda Marshall

Linda Marshall always knew she wanted to be a teacher, but “sometimes life doesn’t always turn out the way you originally planned.”

She began her adult career in the communications industry and spent 20 years there. After retiring from her communications career she became a stay-at-home mom, but once her kids entered high school, she realized that she wanted to teach.

After getting her emergency credential she began her job at NPHS in the newly formed autism program, where she stayed for nine years. However, when the autism program moved from NPHS to TOHS she decided not to leave NP and stay for the next 19 years.

Marshall has taught a wide range of topics during her teaching years: government, health, history and english.

She has many fond memories of NPHS and loves to see how well her former students are doing after they graduate. Marshall would like to be remembered on campus as someone who was there for all the students, regardless if she had them in her class or not.

As the days trickle down until the end of the school year, she looks forward to her relaxing life in the near future. Her only plans are to spend time with her family, including her husband and two grandchildren. “I’m not planning on going back to school, unless it’s helping my grandchildren with their homework.” Marshall said.

 

JoAnne Trimborn

Working at NPHS for six years and CVUSD for 20, JoAnne Trimborn is set to retire at the end of the school year. Advising students as they come on and off campus, Trimborn has worked as a part of attendance, handing out the iconic “yellow late-slip” to tardy students.

Both Trimborn and her husband are retiring this year, planning to spend time with one another. “We’re going to be doing some traveling and some volunteering and cleaning the garage,” Trimborn said.

After all of her years serving with CVUSD, Trimborn did not have to pause to think of her favorite part of coming to the front office everyday. “Oh definitely (the students), you guys are the best part,” Trimborn said. “The people here at the school: great staff, great kids. It’s been a pleasure.”

After her time serving with the community, Trimborn’s work ethic in the office will not be forgotten. Ziad Chehadeh, senior, was able to recognize how hard she works after serving the year as a Teachers Aid.

“She is always super nice and helpful and is willing to put in 110% to get any job done,” Chehadeh said, “Good luck with everything and mostly enjoy what life has to offer.”

 

Peggy Walker

Peggy Walker, psychology teacher, has decided that this year will be her last of 28 at NPHS.

“It was really a tough decision. I love being here and I just looked at the rest of my life and what I wanted to do and it just seemed like all of the stars aligned for selling my house and doing things so that the rest of my life is fun,” Walker explained.

Walker is looking ahead to the future. “I plan to travel some, visit my children, my grandbabies, and probably continue working, I just haven’t decided what and where.”

One of the most important parts of Walker’s time here was the community she built up around her. She has always been involved in extracurricular activities that she pours her heart into, from ASG when she started her career at NPHS to starting up Mock Trial.

“When I did ASG, I brought my kids with me. Then, my kids went to this school, so for nine years, I had somebody from my family here and that was really fun. It was just about a year after (my kids) were in college, and somebody approached me and asked ‘Would you like to do mock trial?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know what that is, but sure,’ and I did that for 13 years,” Walker said. “I had family here before my kids were here, I had family here while my kids were here, and I had family here after.”

Eesha Chattopadhyay, junior, formed a close bond with Walker through Mock Trial for the past three years and IB Psychology this year.

“Ms. Walker is truly invested and really in touch with her students’ lives and their success, and because of that, she’s formed a really great relationship with the people around her,” Chattopadhyay said.  

For Chattopadhyay, Walker acted as an anchor during the chaos of the school year. “Ms. Walker served as a home base for everyone in mock trial whether or not mock trial is going on– we all know we have a safe place in Ms. Walker’s classroom if we ever need anything or if we ever just need some snacks or some advice or just a place to be. She really serves a lot of people in that way and she helps a lot of people just by providing a home on campus. I’m really going to miss her.”

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