University High School gets 15 new staff members this year

Staff Writer
Fifteen new faculty members were added at the start of the 2017-2018 school year after the departure of twelve staff members at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
The new staff members include: one counselor and counseling secretary, one English teacher, one Math, three Social Science, one Chinese, two Special Education, two Speech and Language Therapists, one Auto shop and a new orchestra director.
Students with last names Ham-Led now have Mrs. Esther Rogers (Counseling Dept.) as their new counselor. She says that she is “looking forward to getting to know her students.” With an experience of 13 years in counseling, she decided to work at UHS because she liked the “diversity in students” as well their interest in “college-bound information.”
The new counseling secretary, Mrs. Tracy Coggins (Counseling Dept.) strives to “help the office run more efficiently and does [her] best to serve students and new families coming in”, she said. One challenge for her would be “remembering which [bell] schedule goes with what day,” she added.
Mr. Kevin Groh (English Dept.) teaches English 2 and English 4. He attended UHS and is excited to be back. He also believes that “young people learn best when they work together” and therefore expects his students to “come to class ready to engage.”
With the addition of three new Social Science teachers, Mr. Hector Gamboa (Social Science Dept.), Mrs. Kathryn Dennis (Social Science Dept.) and Mr. Colin Hurt (Social Science Dept.), the history department now consists of fifteen teachers. The department co-chair Ms. Ann Campbell (Social Science Dept.) said, “I really enjoy mentoring new young teachers.”
UHS also employed a new orchestra director, Mr. Timothy Abbiss (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.). He is a long-term substitute teacher for one year while Mrs. Grace Lee (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) is taking a maternity leave.
“I was really happy when Mrs. Lee asked me,” Abbiss said.
Before he came to UHS, he substituted at nearby Woodbridge High School for the first semester of the 2016-2017 school year. and substituted around the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) for the second.