Wildcat family welcomes many new teachers to Creek

Wildcat family welcomes many new teachers to Creek

Troylon Griffin II, Managing Editor

As Clear Creek begins its 2015-2016 year, both new and old students are introduced to twenty new teachers from a variety of fields. These teachers are part of the big group of teachers that come in every year when a school year begins. This includes three new teachers in the social studies division: Mr. Mathew Alvarez, James Wyman and Stephen Mayol, three science teachers: Michael McGregor, Ashley Dolen and Kortney Field, a new math teacher, Dalona Pierson, two new English teachers: Jenny Harrell and Amanda Penney, three new physical education teachers: Coach Travis Golden, Candle Carmichael and Marka Wood, three new elective teachers: Brian Darby for debate, Rex Williams and Stephen Seymour for band and five new teachers in the foreign language division: Aide Garibay, Velia Davila and Nilda Burgos for Spanish and Tanya Arredondo and Catrice Eaton for American Sign Language.

Aide Garibay was born in Monterrey, Mexico and came to Texas for a better high school education. Before high school, Garibay had traveled back and forth from Mexico to the U.S. due to having relatives in both countries. She has been teaching for three years and had previously taught first level Spanish and Spanish for native speakers at Spring ISD. Now, as a teacher at Creek, Garibay is looking forward to achieving her goal of “implementing and developing a great curriculum for Spanish so that way the language can grow and students can grow interested in choosing it as a course and elective.”

“I have a passion for my culture and language so teaching Spanish is definitely in my interest,” Garibay said.

Garibay has joined Creek’s Spanish program along with newcomers Veila Davila and Nilda Burgos.

Señora Burgos is a teacher of Spanish 1 and 2. She explained that she is excited and proud to be here.

“I want to help people learn a new language and give them new opportunities,” Burgos said.

What’s also notable about Burgos is that she has recently come from Puerto Rico and has taught there for the past twenty years. She considers her new coming as “challenging” but she is “giving it a chance.” Burgos plans to teach for a long time at Creek and is anticipating “helping students be able to communicate and speak in Spanish.”

Señora Davila is also a teacher who is new not only to Creek but to the U.S. For a long time, Davila taught in Mexico before coming to Laredo, Texas to get her bachelor’s degree in Spanish. She is now working at Creek to educate students about the Spanish language.

“I like the language and I think it’s a language that needs to be recognized in the United States,” Davila said. “Everyday, Spanish becomes more important to know in the states.”

Davila has noted that she loves the diversity at Creek and feels it’s a good place to start teaching in the U.S. She looks forward to teaching at Creek and developing her career.

In the American Sign Language department, Creek welcomes Tanya Arredondo and Catrice Eaton.

Arredondo’s first year at Creek is also her first year ever teaching. She took an interest in sign language and teaching when her father began attending classes after he began to lose his hearing.

“I’m really excited and I got ready as much as I could,” Arredondo said.

In general, she looks forward to the “high spirited student body aiming for success in anything they do.”

“I’d look for my students to have fun in my class, have respect in the deaf community and learn at least one thing at the end of the year,” Ms. Arredondo said.

Joining Arredondo in teaching sign language is Catrice Eaton. Catrice teaches American Sign Language part time at Creek, sixth and seventh period, and at Clear Lake from first to third period.

“I have a lot of excitement starting my school year off and having interaction with students,” Eaton said.

When asked why she teaches American Sign Language, Eaton said that it’s a language she feels people “aren’t too aware of”. She loves American Sign Language and describes it as a beautiful language.

At Creek, she looks forward to working in the sign language program and hopes to even have a few field trips relating to sign language.

In the English and Language Arts division, Creek welcomes Amanda Penney and Jenny Harrell.

Ms. Amanda Penny is both a new English teacher and assistant soccer coach. She decided to teach because she has “always been inspired to help others” and in school would help her classmates and always felt good about it.

“I also want to teach kids to be better writers and share my passion for English,” Ms. Penney said. “There’s no right answer for English and there’s always discussion.”

As her first year here, Penney is excited to go to athletic events and enjoy everyday at her job and notes that “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift.”

There have also been three new entries into the subject of social science. One of these is Stephen Mayol. Mr. Mayol is a teacher of U.S. History who graduated from Clear Lake High School. He finds it both “fun and interesting” coming to his formal rival school. He noted how Lake went to the playoffs many times and said how he always thought it was fun beating Creek.

“But now I’m more than happy to say ‘Beat Lake or Beat Falls.’” Mayol said.

Mayol has always liked social science because of its stories and feels that it’s very important to know history so that it’s not repeated. After teaching geography for a while, Mayol taught U.S. history to eighth graders. In the curriculum, the lesson stopped after the Civil War, but Mayol wanted to teach further than that.

“It’s more relatable for the students if they can eventually learn about more recent historical figures like the Beatles,” Mayol said..

Overall, Mayol looks forward to building relationships with students and hopes that if he makes a big enough impact on them, he will get to see them graduate, which he considers a major milestone.

The social studies department also welcomes Coach Mathew Alvarez and Coach Wyman. Alvarez is one of the new soccer coaches and a teacher of World Geography, while Wyman is a football coach and head coach for the wrestling team at Creek. Alvarez taught at Clear Brook and La Porte High School before coming to Creek. Alvarez noted he came for the opportunity to coach football and soccer. On why he taught World Geography, Alvarez revealed how he was in the military before teaching and saw much of the world.

“That’s where I got my inspiration so I wish to share it with others,” Alvarez said.

Coach Wyman finds his new job “exciting and definitely different.”

“There’s a lot more different expectations then at my last job.” Wyman said.

Wyman gave insight into being a coach and a social studies teacher and even explained why so many coaches tend to teach social studies.

“Social studies in general is about people and how you relate to them, and being a coach you can relate to that,” Wyman said. “Plus it’s cool to see how culture plays out over time.”

Both Coach Wyman and Alvarez hope to stay at Creek long term, with Wyman in particular looking forward to figuring out all the school technology.

“My last school could barely hold its Wi-Fi, so figuring out how to go paperless is challenging but cool,” Wyman said.

Creek also welcomes its only new algebra teacher Mrs. Dalona Pierson. Pierson came from Dickinson High. She joked that going from Dickinson to Creek felt like “moving to your rival.” Nevertheless she is excited to come to Creek.

“It’s a little overwhelming learning the new processes but it’s exciting seeing traditions new to you.” Pierson said. “But I look forward to becoming a Wildcat at heart and that just means going to as many student activities as I can.”

Mrs. Pierson at this point really enjoys Creek and has especially enjoyed the students, noting that they’ve been “very welcoming.”

New elective teachers at Creek include the new speech and debate director, Brian Darby. Mr. Darby had previously come from Alief Hastings High School where he also taught speech and debate.

“I chose to teach speech because I don’t think a lot of people like to do it,” Darby said. “Public speaking is one of the most common fears in society today. As far as it goes for speech and debate, I have never not been competing in it or coaching it since I was a sophomore in high school. It has literally been my life for over 12 years now.”

Darby attended San Jacinto College North for his basics and was a part of their debate team. He ended up graduating from Texas State University where he also participated in debate. Even before going to college, Darby wished to be a teacher.

“I have always wanted to be a teacher since I can remember,” Darby said. “The reasons have changed throughout the years. When I was in elementary school I wanted to be a teacher that made class more fun and played games all day. When I was in junior high I wanted to be a journalist, but that changed. In high school, I wanted to be just like my high school debate coach and teach history and coach debate.”

Darby explained that his coming to Creek initially felt strange due to the process of moving from schools and having to get to know an entire new class of students. Nevertheless, Darby is loving his time at Creek.

“I absolutely love it here. The school is big but not too big. The staff has been very welcoming and warming. The students have been awesome too, very positive and upbeat. I am very happy I decided to come in,” Darby said.

Darby has also built expectations for himself and the school and its success in debate.

“I look forward to be being the best speech and debate coach as possible,” Darby said. “They have had a ton of success in the past with their previous coaches. I just want to make sure I exceed all of everyone’s expectations.”

Other new elective teachers include new band teachers Rex Williams and Stephen Seymour and dance teacher Marka Woods.

Mr. Seymour is the new director of percussion & AP music theory instructor. He has enjoyed music since he was a child and noted that he was “probably the best pots and pans drummer” in his neighborhood. He considers music to be the true reason he does what he does.

“This position as the Director of Percussion and AP Music Theory Instructor is, to date, the culmination of what I went to school for,” Seymour said. “I’m teaching music, and most of the time, I’m teaching students how to play the drums…I really can’t think of a sweeter gig!

Seymour has just finished his Masters in Percussion Performance at Baylor University where he was the Teaching Assistant for the Drum Line and Marching Band, as well as a performer with many of the ensembles on campus. One of the latest projects he was a part of was a CD recording project with the Baylor Percussion Group.

Seymour has said that he truly enjoys Creek so far.

“It feels great!” Seymour said. “There is truly a sense of community among the faculty and administration in this building, and as soon as I walked in, I felt like I was supported. I look forward to building a program wherein students can learn about music, themselves, and what it is to work creatively as a team toward a unified goal.”