University High School is excited to have four new teachers on campus: Ms. Strausheim (Counseling), Mr. Hays (Math Dept.), Mrs. Galassetti (Science Dept.), and Mr. Garcia (English Dept.)! If you want to know more about these staff members, read their responses below to a few interesting questions.
Sword & Shield: What school(s) did you teach at previously?
Ms. Strausheim: I was a counselor at Mesa Linda Middle School, Estancia High and Lakeside Middle School.
Mr. Hays: Temleton High School near San Luis Obispo and Cuesta Community College.
Mrs. Galassetti: I started teaching in LA, and went on to teach at Leuzinger High, Beverly Hills High School, South High School, Harpeth Hall, Woodbridge High and Vista Verde Middle School.
Mr. Garcia: Woodbridge High School for student teaching and Foothill High School in Tustin for 6 years.
S&S: What made you want to pursue teaching and your subject specifically?
Ms. Strausheim: I knew that I wanted to be able to help and guide students one on one, so I returned to graduate school (after getting a BA in Psychology) to get my Masters in school counseling.
Mr. Hays: I worked as a programmer and did not like staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day. I have always liked math, and the student interaction makes teaching fun and exciting.
Mrs. Galassetti: I always loved learning and helping my friends with their homework, so teaching just seemed to fit. I love physics because it is both conceptual and quantitative and really tries to answer some of the bigger questions about the universe. It really is cool.
Mr. Garcia: Teaching is one of the only professions that you can feel good about doing EVERYDAY. When you teach English, specifically, you encounter students in unbelievably rich and memorable ways.
S&S: What was your first impression of UHS?
Ms. Strausheim: I’m very impressed by the students’ high level of academic achievement and by the school spirit that UHS teachers and students have.
Mr. Hays: The students are hardworking and well behaved. The new stadium is awesome!
Mrs. Galassetti: Well, I’ve been familiar with the Irvine community for a couple of years. I remember my first impression of the community itself was at a community pool where I met a boy who said he was “4 and 1/12th years old.” My impression of this school itself was that there are a lot of smart, sweet and kind students!
Mr. Garcia: I was very impressed by the attitude of the students on day one. I do not think everyone here realizes how unique the culture of UHS is.
S&S: What are you looking forward to most this upcoming school year?
Ms. Strausheim: Really getting to know the students and staff.
Mr. Hays: I am looking forward to going to home football games. I also enjoy attending volleyball, soccer and basketball games.
Mrs. Galassetti: Surviving…and getting to know my students and colleagues of course!
Mr. Garcia: Getting deep into the texts with all my classes. Scuba gear required.
S&S: How did you spend your summer?
Ms. Strausheim: I spent my summer with my husband Sean and my son Asher. Asher was involved in tee-ball and soccer this summer. We took a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We went to the beach, the pool, a wedding, Sea World, and the OC Fair.
Mr. Hays: I visited my family in New York, and I moved from San Luis Obispo to Irvine.
Mrs. Galassetti: I did a lot of traveling. My family and I go to Italy every year, and we just focus on eating and relating to people, art and nature.
Mr. Garcia: I went on a huge reading binge. I tackled all the texts I had to read for this teaching assignment and went after a couple of other things I had been meaning to get to. I also attended a different wedding every other weekend it seemed.
S&S: Fun fact?
Ms. Strausheim: I’m originally from NY. I make jewelry. I love yoga and snowboarding.
Mr. Hays: I have been collecting comic books since the 1970’s.
Mrs. Galassetti: I came to this country on a two week long boat ride in which the baths were filled with seawater.
Mr. Garcia: The names aren’t coincidental. I tricked Mrs. Garcia into marrying me a little over a year ago. Yeeeah!
Maybe you learned something new about one of your teachers, or maybe you just think it is really cool that Mr. Hays collects comic books. Either way, the entire UHS community hopes our new staff members enjoy teaching at UHS and wish them all the best this 2013-2014 school year.
By TAMARA LIN