Meet the new teachers
Every year we have a few changes at Patrick Henry High School (PHHS) due to retirements and staff members moving away. This year was no different and I’m happy to report that the new people we’ve hired have been a great fit for our school so far. Please welcome:
Mr. Abraham Shklar is replacing Tina Brown who retired after many years of service to the SDUSD. Mr. Shklar is teaching art and comes to us from Vista High School where he taught for the last five years. When asked what makes Henry special he replied, “The students are so incredibly dedicated to succeeding academically. They’re all so respectful and kind to each other and myself in class. It makes my job as an educator so much more pleasant when I am teaching students who really want to be artists and learn how to draw and paint.”
Mr. Richard Norton joined us after teaching for 25 years in the San Diego Unified School District. His last assignment was at University City High School where his principal reported to me during the interview process what a loss it would be for the school if we hired him as he has been a true gem and leader there. Mr. Norton is teaching English at Henry, however he has experience teaching humanities, video production, journalism, and film arts. Mr. Norton shared that he has enjoyed the terrific support he has received from the staff so far and that he is enjoying the wonderful students he gets to teach.
Dr. Cecile Nedellec joined us after working at Standley Middle School and Serra High School. She taught French and English at Standley and was their dept. chairperson. This is her 15th year of teaching which includes a year teaching in a Swiss middle school as well. Dr. Nedellec shared with me, “I love the windows in my new classroom of course! Thanks to the enthusiasm and warmth of the Patrick Henry staff, students look eager to come to class to learn. One student told me he wished I had been his teacher for the past two years. I could not have gotten a better compliment after the first week of school only. My students are engaged and they are willing to take risks in learning French.”
Tyrent “Ty” Lackey joins our special education department after working eight years at Horace Mann Middle School. He has a decade of teaching and is returning to Henry as an alumni graduating with the class of 2001 and working as a water polo coach in 2010. Mr. Lackey stated his favorite part about Henry is how awesome the students have been and how impressed he is that they want to work and do well.
Kristen O’Hara joins us from Memorial Preparatory for Scholars and Athletes School after one year. Prior to that, she taught seven years in Philadelphia before moving to San Diego. She lives in the San Carlos neighborhood and is thrilled to be closer to home while teaching English and history at Henry. She states that she love the positivity found at Henry!
Jason Rogalski joined us this week and will be teaching art to year one students. He has an extensive background teaching in charter schools and is excited to join the Henry team at a comprehensive site.
Justin Nguyen is happy to join the Henry team after his first assignment teaching biology at UC High School last year. Though Mr. Nguyen is a new teacher, he came in strong with his background and interest in science.
Casey Spaulding comes from after being on active duty with the Navy. His last role was Command Trainer at the NRD in San Diego. Though this is Mr. Spaulding’s first year teaching NJROTC, he could not be a more welcomed fit in the department. He said he is impressed by the student’s enthusiasm to help others and work together, which could easily be said by us about him!
Mauricio Barrientos is a new counselor at Henry and is a much welcomed addition as we finally have a full-time counselor to serve our students. He will be working with students whose last name begins with the letters Me-Roe. Mr. Barrientos comes to us after working at Lincoln High School and has been a counselor for 12 years. Mr. Barrientos stated he likes the friendliness of the staff and students at Henry.
Harold “Monty” Hutchinson is returning to us as he was a student teacher several years ago. Last year, he worked at Point Loma High School and we are thrilled to have him join our World Language department teaching Spanish in our new building. This will be his fifth year teaching all levels. Mr. Hutchinson is loving having students who are respectful of one another and who aren’t “plugged in to earbuds all day!”
Freshmen football team has a new staff
Something new and unique is happening with Patriot Football throughout the program. PHHS is proud to let you know that our freshmen football program is led by an all-female coaching staff. Head Coach Eboni Chambers and other San Diego professional football players have been hired and have started the season off helping build our team for the future. Our coaching staff all played professionally for the San Diego Surge, our city’s professional team playing in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA). Coach Chambers has played for the Surge since 2012 and now has the opportunity to bring all her knowledge of the game to our freshmen football players.
Chambers has experience playing offensive right and left guard, offensive left tackle, and defensive tackle/end. As a San Diego Surge player, she has been a part of two National Championships 2012, 2014 (with a 1-1 championship record). Surge defeated Chicago Force in 2012 as one of the first women’s football teams to play in an NFL stadium: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh. In addition to a National Championship, the San Diego Surge has competed in three American Conference Championships (2-1) and has a 63-10 overall franchise record. As a player for the San Diego Surge, Eboni has been awarded Rookie of the Year 2012; Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) Offensive All American 2014, 2015; Offensive Player of the Year (Surge) 2015; WFA Defensive All American 2017; Hall of Fame National Team 2017/2018; USA National Team 2017 (3-0 in tournament play), as offensive tackle (Gold).
In addition to playing, Chambers has coached players ages 7-13 with San Diego Youth Football & Cheer (SDYFC). She has been a coach with the Balboa Raiders and La Mesa/Grossmont Warriors organizations from 2012-present. She has been interim-head coach for Tiny Mites in 2013 and offensive line coach from 2015-present. As a coach, the Grossmont Warriors were Q-Bowl contenders 2016 and Balboa Raiders became Q-Bowl Champions (12-u) 2018 (10-0).
Chambers is born and raised in San Diego and graduated from Scripps Ranch High School 2003. She attended Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta with a BA in Psychology in 2007. She is joined by other players from the San Diego Surge team, Coach Tyler and Coach Strother.
Club Day kicks off the new school year at Henry
PHHS celebrated a great opening which included Club Day to help promote inclusiveness, fun, education, culture, and good health through our ASB Leadership team.
We have over 80 clubs on campus and the best way to add new members is by advertising them at lunch in a fun and creative way. Tables were set up around the quad spilling into the pathways with special posters and charts to explain the club’s purpose. A full list of over 80 different clubs is on our website with days and times when they meet.
One of my favorite clubs is the Circle of Friends because they promote making friends and community building activities for students who can struggle with making friends. Academic League, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, Art History, and Architecture and Engineering clubs are available for students who are interested in academic endeavors. Helping the Homeless, Hear Our Voice, Red Cross, and Key Club are all examples of clubs for students who want to participate in community service. We also have clubs that celebrate culture, religion, and hobbies for students who want to share common interests or learn about others.
The list is long and everyone is invited to participate in as many clubs as they have time for. Special thanks to the club advisors who provide leadership opportunities for our students and a place for them to meet.
— Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School.