Despite the global Pandemic, our school is able to run remotely. In addition to the change in learning style, the school also welcomed new staff members from different subjects, including Ms. Clarice Chang.
Ms. Chang, our new History teacher, graduated from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and later got her master’s degree from the University of Southern California (USC). Before coming to San Marino, Ms. Chang taught for five years. With her vast interest in History, Ms. Chang has previously taught in two different high schools: Irvington High School, at Fremont CA, for five years, and Gladstone High School, at Azusa CA, for one year. “I taught all levels of social studies. At both schools, I rotated between teaching World History, U.S. History, and Government and Economics. I also taught AP US History at both schools,” Ms. Chang said. The five years of teaching experience make us curious about why she decided to come to San Marino. “San Marino has a very good reputation. It’s a good community, and you hear about how strong the schools are. When I saw the job opening this summer, I thought that I definitely had to give it a shot. I’m excited to join the San Marino High School faculty, and I think a lot of teachers would feel lucky to be able to work at San Marino,” Ms. Chang said.
When asked why she enjoys teaching, Ms. Chang replied, “I personally have always really liked History, but what I like about that[teaching] is that I get to teach my favorite subject to the next generation of kids and hopefully show them why it’s both an important and fascinating subject.”
When asked what part(s) of US History do you find the most interesting to teach, she replied, “For U.S. History, I like teaching the 1960s the most. A lot of change was happening at the time and it’s really cool to see the impact of those events still being felt today,” Ms. Chang continued, “I am hoping that teaching history to students will help them make connections to their community and to be inspired to make a positive change.”
On top of that, when asked what have you enjoyed about coming to San Marino High School, Ms. Chang replied, “So far the students are friendly and respectful in the classes. The kids seem pretty engaged in the lessons, and that is one of the most important aspects of a productive classroom.” Throughout the interview, Ms. Chang expressed her hope to help students to make positive changes and to be a teacher that is both supportive and academically strict, just as her favorite high school teacher, Ms. Chalew, was. “The teacher I think that had the most impact on me was an English teacher that I had for both 10th Grade and 12th Grade at Walnut High School. Her name is Ms. Chalew.” Ms. Chang said, “She is the one who kind of showed me that a teacher can hold students to high standards but also encourage them by being positive and having a friendly demeanor. You can be strict and be very focused on academics, but you can also balance it out by being supportive. Even though I am not teaching English, she is the one that when I think about what kind of teacher I would like to be, I want to be like her.”
In addition to the academic facts about Ms. Chang, the students are also interested in knowing some fun facts about her. What is one thing you would like your students to know about you?
In response, Ms. Chang said, “some of my favorite hobbies are watching movies, trying out new foods, and also, with that, I really like Hot Cheetos Fries!” Later, she added, “I didn’t grow up with any pets, but I love cats and dogs. Maybe one day I can get them both! That would make me happy.”
Although Ms. Chang and the other new staff members came to our school during the COVID outbreak, at a time where we are not able to meet in-person, we still appreciate their work and presence, and are happy to work with them under such different circumstances. Welcome to San Marino High School!