Campus Connections takes a look at some of the newest staff members on campus. (Maddie Owens)
Campus Connections takes a look at some of the newest staff members on campus.

Maddie Owens

Campus Connections: volume IX

October 25, 2022

Many new staff members are on campus for the 2022-23 school year, and in Campus Connections, Wingspan introduces you to the newest Redhawks.

Victoria+Tong+is+one+of+the+new+assistant+principals+on+campus%2C+and+has+worked+her+way+from+teaching+kindergarten+to+administration+level+positions.+Her+first+visit+was+on+High-Five+Friday%2C+and+after+that%2C+she+was+convinced+that+a+position+on+campus+would+be+a+good+choice+for+her.

Neha Ramachandran

Victoria Tong is one of the new assistant principals on campus, and has worked her way from teaching kindergarten to administration level positions. Her first visit was on High-Five Friday, and after that, she was convinced that a position on campus would be a good choice for her.

Victoria Tong

New assistant principal, Victoria Tong, enjoys seeing children grow and learn with each new day. Attending New Mexico State University and Dallas Baptist University and graduating with a degree in journalism, she did not always know that she wanted to work in education; She only discovered her love for working with kids when she got a job working at a kindergarten center and began her pursuit of a career in education, working in educator and administrator positions in different schools. 

Wingspan: What about this job made you want to pursue it? 

Tong: “My kids go to elementary school down the road and I just knew this was a good district so I applied to Frisco. And I got an interview with this team over here and I was real hesitant because I’d never been in high school before. So, they invited me to come and they were like come and look at our campus and come and meet some of our kids. So I did. Whenever I did that, it was definitely a yes for me- coming and meeting people.”

Wingspan: Did you like something about the high school environment? 

Tong: “It was the day where everyone was giving high fives. I think it was on High-Five Friday or something like that. And so I just could tell the kids were happy to be here, the people were happy to be here to work and it seemed like a great environment to thrive in.” 

I just could tell the kids were happy to be here, the people were happy to be here to work and it seemed like a great environment to thrive in,”

— assistant principal Victoria Tong

Wingspan: Can you tell me about how you came to work in the education field? What college did you go to? 

Tong: “I went to New Mexico State University, and then my masters I went to Dallas Baptist University. And…so those are the two that I went to, but I didn’t get a degree in education; I got a degree in Journalism, so kind of like what you’re doing. So, whenever I got my first job teaching I was supposed to be the journalism teacher, but then they didn’t have enough money to fund that, so they just asked ‘well what other things are you certified in?’ And I said ‘I love to read books!’ so they put me in the English classroom.” 

Wingspan: When did you know you wanted to work in the education field?

Tong: “Right after college there was like a time when I had a bunch of jobs but they just weren’t very meaningful. I started working at this kindergarten center with two year olds and three year olds. I was with that age group and I was like oh my gosh this job is hard, but it’s so fulfilling to see them grow up. So that’s when I thought I probably would be a good teacher.” 

Wingspan: What do you find most rewarding about your job? 

Tong: “I just like leaving here knowing that I’ve accomplished something, so I try to do that once a day. Whether it’s giving a kid a hug because they seemed like they were sad, or helping a parent with an issue with their child. So just one thing throughout the day that I really try to do so I can leave here saying I really did do something to change and make the world better.” 

I just like leaving here knowing that I’ve accomplished something, so I try to do that once a day,”

— assistant principal Victoria Tong

Wingspan: What do you do as an assistant principal? 

Tong: “Lots of things. I check the doors to make sure everyone’s safe and secure inside the school. I help teachers whenever they’re working together- with lesson plans. I go and observe those same teachers to just see if the lesson plan that we had was working or not- help grow teachers. I deal with parents all day with whatever it is that they might do. And then with students too- I welcome anyone into my office to have a conversation.” 

Wingspan: What’s one piece of advice you would give about high school?

Tong: “For me I loved my high school when I was in high school, and I loved it because I was involved in a lot of things, so I would say be involved in as many things as you can because you don’t get very many opportunities to do that other than high school- just try things out even if you don’t think you’re gonna be good at them- and then you might like it later.” 

Wingspan: Did you take part in any clubs or something? 

Tong: “I was in the journalism club which is why I graduated with my journalism degree. I ran track, I did cheer, I was on the dance team. I was in Key Club and National Honor Society. So, I did try a lot of different things and just… see what I was good at.”  

Wingspan: So, if you could describe yourself in three words what would those three words be? 

Tong: “I think I would be described as peppy, like I have a lot of characteristics like that. And the second one is I work hard; So I’m a hard worker. And the third one is…I am personable.”

Wingspan: What is one quote or motto that you live by?

Tong: “Practice like living in the moment because I’m not very good at it. I always am thinking about tomorrow and what to do next and things like that, so I’m trying to practice that.” 

Although+originally+intending+to+be+a+history+teacher%2C+new+Functional+Academics+%0Ainstructor+Marvin+Porter+said+that+he%E2%80%99s+never+looked+back+since+starting+in+special+education.+

Zachary Moland

Although originally intending to be a history teacher, new Functional Academics instructor Marvin Porter said that he’s never looked back since starting in special education.

Marvin Porter

Pittsburgh, Texas native and Liberty University sports management alumni, Marvin Porter is teaching Functional Academics on campus for the first time after spending three years teaching the subject at Plano East High School, and four years teaching it at Denton High School. Wingspan sat down with Porter to learn more about the class he teaches and what got him started in special education.

Wingspan: How has your experience here on campus been so far?

Porter: “I’ve been amazed here, very, very amazed. The staff are amazing, very, very helpful. The students are a blessing to be around. Everybody’s nice, and everybody’s accepted. Campus has been nothing short of amazing.”

Campus has been nothing short of amazing,”

— teacher Marvin Porter

Wingspan: How did your previous experiences with people who have special needs lead to you teaching the subject you do?

Porter: “FA kind of just fell into my lap. I’ve been in special education for seven years. I got my alternative certificate to teach, but I didn’t go to get it for SPED. I actually went to get it to teach history, and I just kinda fell into SPED when I started subbing. I started subbing, and the second day I was subbing I was in SPED, and I’ve never left it since.”

Wingspan: How does teaching special education students differ from teaching students who are not in the SPED program?

Porter: “It’s different because you get more one-on-one time with the kids, and you give them the help that they need, the little piece that they’re missing and when they go to a general education class, you fill that gap in for them. It’s more learning. The ratio is smaller for students to teacher. You get a lot more done in that environment. The kids can actually sit there and not be bothered by certain things they’d be bothered by in general education.”

I actually went to get it to teach history, and I just kinda fell into SPED when I started subbing,”

— teacher Marvin Porter

Wingspan: Do you think there are misconceptions about special education students? If so, what do you think they are?

Porter: “Definitely. I think a big misconception is that people misconceive those kids as having disabilities that can cripple you. They’re just like every other kid. The only thing is, the difference is that they just learn a little differently. It takes them time to process things a little differently.”

Brook+Fesco+is+the+new+Associate+Principal+on+Campus+this+school+year.+She+recently+moved+to+Dallas+after+teaching+in+another+school+district+for+ten+years.

Aurora Spector

Brook Fesco is the new Associate Principal on Campus this school year. She recently moved to Dallas after teaching in another school district for ten years.

Brook Fesco

The school’s new associate principal, Brook Fesco has been an educator for 20 years. After finishing college at Drake University, she was a teacher for 10 years with another school district before moving to the Dallas area. She enjoys reading, working out, and playing with her son when she is not working at school. 

Wingspan: How are you liking the school so far? Has it been pretty pretty good?

Fesco: “Yes, I am loving Liberty. I’m loving the change. It seems like we have a lot of good students that are excited to be here, and we have a lot of really great teachers. You guys are very lucky.” 

Wingspan: What was your thought process when you decided to be an educator?

Fesco: “When I got out of college, I was an art major. So I wasn’t an education major. I played sports in college. So when I got out, I was looking for a job. And my old coach called and asked if I wanted to coach, and so then it was what can you teach. So they asked and I was like, I can teach art. So then I went and got an alt certification. So I went back to school and got my teaching certificate and taught and coached for 10 years in one district and as soon as I started teaching and finished my alt certification my mom was also a teacher, and so she encouraged me me she’s like just get your master’s degree now,  you don’t know what you’re going to want do with it but go ahead and get your masters degree now, so I did  and I’ve always been sort of that leader type person and it was a natural move for me to from an art teacher, to I was the department head into an assistant principal role.”

Wingspan: If you had one piece of advice for the future and current students at this school about success in school and life what would you say? 

Fesco: “Enjoy your high school experience, and make sure that you’re, you have the opportunity to explore your interests. Frisco ISD gives you multiple opportunities to explore what you’re interested in and take those opportunities because ultimately, I know a lot of students get focused on the grades. And it’s not about the grades. It’s about the learning. It’s about the experience that you have in highschool, and to make sure you focus on those things.”

I know a lot of students get focused on the grades. And it’s not about the grades. It’s about the learning,”

— associate principal Brook Fesco

Wingspan: What is your favorite part about being someone who works here?

Fesco: “My favorite part so far. I really in the mornings when I get to say hi to students, and I get that smile and that hi back. That’s fun. And also I love red and black, so I do enjoy wearing red and black so the colors, they get me a little bit too.”

Wingspan: What are your least favorite parts about being an associate principal?

Fesco: “The hardest part is sometimes having to enforce the rules ,when you know, students make mistakes and students are learning from those mistakes when they make them and sometimes it’s hard to be the person that has to be the one that enforces those rules when the mistakes are made.”

Wingspan: If you could join any class that high school offers, which class sounds most appealing to you?

Fesco: “I actually would probably there would be two that I really want that I didn’t probably take advantage of as much as I should have when I was in school. One was foreign language. I would want to sit in French. I did Spanish but I’d really want to sit in French and learn French, that’s my number one. Number two is an instrument, I wasn’t in band, I didn’t learn any instruments. So I think it would be cool to learn how to play an instrument.”  

Wingspan: What goals do you have for yourself and the school as a whole this semester? 

Fesco: “So the one thing that we’re really focusing on is the change in the gradebook.So that’s a big one that were talking to teachers about and that were making sure that we are assessing the students knowledge so that you guys are able to show what you know on the topic and were not grading you on behaviors. So that’s a big focus of ours this year to make sure that you guys are understanding that it’s more important to know the information  and to really truly try to gain that information through a class versus you know ,making sure that you can do a worksheet.”

Wingspan:  If we were to interview your friends and ask them about you, how do you think they would describe you?

Fesco: “Friendly, probably sometimes pretty goofy, and always up to have and be with people.I am a people person, so I like to be around people. Then likes loud music is another one probably.”

Wingspan:What are people’s reactions when you tell them that you’re an associate principal for a high school? Is it a shocker to some people?

Fesco : “Yep, some people. Some people will say things like whoa, oh goodness, like I don’t know if I could handle that. And then others will say that their perception of a principal is like an older male, and so then they go oh, man I might like to go to the principal’s office if it was a smiling happy person that is inviting you there. But sometimes they think I’m more of a counselor versus an assistant principal. That is the misconception there is.” 

Alexa+Hamiltion+is+the+new+Computer+Science%2C+Computer+Maintenance%2C+and+AP+Computer+Science+Principles+teacher.+After+getting+her+degree%2C+Hamilton+found+her+passion+in+education+and+completed+her+alternative+teaching+certification.+

Sankeertana Malakapalli

Alexa Hamiltion is the new Computer Science, Computer Maintenance, and AP Computer Science Principles teacher. After getting her degree, Hamilton found her passion in education and completed her alternative teaching certification.

Alexa Hamilton

One of the many new teachers here on campus this year is Alexa Hamilton, who teaches Computer Science, Computer Maintenance, and AP Computer Science Principles. A graduate of the University of North Texas, Hamilton grew up in Castroville, a small town near San Antonio, and studied Media Arts in college. After getting her degree, Hamilton found her passion in education and completed her alternative teaching certification. Wingspan recently visited her and got to know more about her experience on campus so far.

Wingspan: What do you like about the school so far?

Hamilton: “It’s so big, like, y’all have so many things here and so many different electives and all that. And, like, where I come from it’s really small. So, this is just all new to me.”

Wingspan: What was your favorite subject in high school? 

Hamilton: “Band. I was a band kid.”

Wingspan: What inspired you to go into Media Arts? 

Hamilton: “I really liked music so I wanted to produce music. And that’s why I started it, and then I took a lot of film classes, and then I ended up in sports.”

Wingspan: So, were you super interested in computer science and technology as a kid? 

Hamilton: “No, I was not. I have a lot of family, though, that does computers, like my great uncle. He has this whole computer business. That’s what he does. Like, he goes and he fixes people’s computers and things. So, I’ve always been around it. But, I was never super interested until I started working on my certification.”

Wingspan: Why did you go into teaching? 

Hamilton: “It wasn’t originally my plan, but I started subbing when COVID hit and I really enjoyed it. So, I decided to get my alternative.”

It wasn’t originally my plan, but I started subbing when COVID hit and I really enjoyed it,”

— computer science teacher Alexa Hamilton

Wingspan: So, why did you choose to teach computer-related subjects? 

Hamilton: “I have a degree in Media Arts, and so it was recommended to me to do technology. So, I’m learning it to teach you.”

Wingspan: And if you could teach any subject you wanted, what would it be?

Hamilton: “Does it have to be like a full subject? I’d love to go back to Pre-K. But, that’s just, like, being nice to people. But if I had to pick any other subjects in high school, I think theater or choir would be really fun.”

Wingspan: What part of teaching is your favorite? 

Hamilton: “I think just getting to know everybody, like just getting to know all the kids.”

Wingspan: What’s your pet peeve as a teacher?

Hamilton: “When people try to do other classes’ work in my class before they’ve done the work for my class.”

Wingspan: What do you do for fun outside school?

Hamilton: “I read a lot. I play rugby. That’s it right now.”

Wingspan: What are your favorite genres to read? 

Hamilton: “I currently like thriller mystery. I have a friend, and she’s one of the horror experts at Barnes and Noble, so I get a lot of recommendations from her.”

Wingspan: What advice do you have for your students?

I kind of want them to just slow down and take a breath sometimes,”

— computer science teacher Alexa Hamilton

Hamilton: “ I want them to take their work seriously, but I don’t want them spending hours on something because they’re, like, scared to ask for help. And so, even so far this year, I’ve had so many kids where they’re like, “oh, I spent like -”, they’ve emailed me at, like, 11 p.m. And I don’t want you to stress that much about it.We’re not at that point where you need to worry that much about things. And so, I kind of want them to just slow down and take a breath sometimes.”

Wingspan: So, did you ever think that you’d be teaching computer science when you were in high school?

Hamilton: “No. I didn’t think I’d be a teacher in high school. So, that’s where I ended up, but I like it.”

Callie Pearson has joined campus as a volleyball coach and health teacher.

Ahmad Lafi

Callie Pearson has joined campus as a volleyball coach and health teacher.

Callie Pearson

Among this year’s group of teachers new to campus is Callie Pearson. A graduate from Texas A&M, she is an assistant volleyball coach and a health teacher. Recently Wingspan sat down and asked a few questions about her first year on campus. 

Wingspan: What motivated you to become a teacher?

Pearson: “I had an awesome world history teacher my sophomore year of high school and he was the guy, like even though he was a teacher, he talked more about life with me than school while family was always about school and not about life so I like having that person there for all the life moments and I wanted to provide that for another student.”

Wingspan: What made you want to come to the school? 

Pearson: “I met coach Reedy [girls’ basketball coach Ross Reedy] in a coffee shop and ran into him, talked with him for 45 minutes. He was like we might have an opening, and I was like ok, but I didn’t think anything of it. Then I saw him again at Starbucks later in the week. Ok this is kinda weird. I think I got to look into Liberty. And then again on Sunday I saw him at Whole Foods so I was like Liberty must be the place to be if I keep running into him there must be a reason for it. “

I like having that person there for all the life moments and I wanted to provide that for another student,”

— assistant volleyball coach Callie Pearson

Wingspan: What has been your favorite thing about teaching this year so far?

Pearson: “So far I have just been loving the kids. I think high school is a lot different than middle school and I love how they are involved in so much more and I feel like it is cool to get to know what they are interested in.”

Wingspan: What has been the worst thing about teaching this year?

Pearson: “It’s been a big adjustment so this is my first year teaching health so I’m making resources I’m learning the materials. This is also my first year doing high school athletics so the demand of high school athletics is a little bit different then middle school.” 

Wingspan: What is your goal for your students this year?

Pearson: “I would like them to go away from health feeling like they actually learned something because I remember taking health ed in high school and it was like a blur. I don’t remember anything so I am hoping kids actually get something out of my class.”

Wingspan: What do you like to do in your free time?

Pearson: “In my free time I love to eat. I have a very expensive palette so some of my favorite foods are oysters, steak, and seafood. I love to try new restaurants. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do.” 

This year, new teacher Shannon Smith started her first year teaching up in high school, after many years in elementary school and middle school. When Smith was in high school, she was involved in lots of extracurriculars including band, choir, and theater.

Lea Garcia-Salazar

This year, new teacher Shannon Smith started her first year teaching up in high school, after many years in elementary school and middle school. When Smith was in high school, she was involved in lots of extracurriculars including band, choir, and theater.

Shannon Smith

There are several new teachers on campus this year. Shannon Smith, a graduate of North Texas who has taught elementary and middle school students for around 20 years, is one of them. Moving here from Stafford Middle School, Smith is getting used to teaching high school students whilst also teaching English to ninth graders. Recently Wingspan caught up with her to learn more about her first-year teaching high school students. 

Wingspan: What grade levels did you previously teach? 

Smith: “Before coming to Liberty, I taught elementary for 20 years; mostly 4th and 5th grade, and then I moved to middle school and taught 7th grade ILA for 6 years.”

Wingspan: What is the greatest difference between teaching at a middle school level versus at a high school level? 

Smith: “There are a lot of differences, I think one of the biggest differences I noticed right away was just the staff size, it is so much greater. I feel like we probably had half as many staff members at middle school as we do at high school. It is a little more challenging getting to know people that you work with at a personal level. If they are not immediately in your planning group, then chances are, you won’t even run into them naturally throughout the day. The students are much more independent and self-disciplined. I’ve been most surprised by how you guys clean up after yourselves because I feel like I spent so much time picking trash and pencil shavings and cheez-its off the floor at middle school. I am impressed with not just that but the increased motivation to make good choices and be responsible and motivated in their success.”

Wingspan: What was the transition like from teaching middle schoolers to high schoolers? Why is that? 

Smith: “The transition to go from middle schoolers to high schoolers wasn’t very hard because I’ve raised 3 children and I’ve been accustomed to being around high school kids because of my children and all of their friends going around. I just like being around kids in general so it doesn’t matter if I’m teaching pre-k students or teaching 9th graders. You have to kind of figure out what their specific needs are for that age group but I think they are all just, whether they are 4 or 14, they are just people who want to be treated with respect and cared about. I think as long as you meet those needs, they are going to be willing to learn more from you and they are going to be more successful in your class.”  

Regardless of who is teaching or what I’m teaching is always to be a positive influence on my students,”

— English teacher Shannon Smith

Wingspan: What are your hopes for this year? Anything you might want to accomplish? 

Smith: “I hope that I become more knowledgeable of the content level for freshman English but what is always my goal, regardless of who is teaching or what I’m teaching is always to be a positive influence on my students, make sure they know I care about them, and that they are better human beings when they leave my class at the end of the year than they were when they first came in.”

Wingspan: What type of high school student were you? 

Smith: “I was everywhere, I was in the band, choir, show choir, theater, and I was also a cheerleader. I also played sports, I played volleyball and tennis. I think I was just friends with everybody, all different groups. I wasn’t a big study kind of person, I always liked doing things last minute I felt like I did my best work at 1:00 in the morning the night before it was due. I had so many things going on at once and studying wasn’t one of them but I got them done and graduated in the top 10 percent of my class. I think that would be a lot harder to do with how competitive kids are academically these days.”

Wingspan: Any advice for people currently in high school?”

Smith: “I believe that kids, in general, tend to be in such a hurry to grow up, and while it is certainly important to be focused on the future or to be cognizant of the future, kids just sometimes forget to just be present and live in the moment, enjoy their youth. To me, it just feels like kids are in such a hurry to grow up that they forget what a blessing it is to be young and not bog down in spouses and children and bills. Just enjoy being young, you are not going to be young for very long so make the most of it.”

Wingspan: What inspired you to want to become a teacher? 

Smith: “My parents were both teachers, I grew up in my mom’s classroom before and after school, and my dad was a principal. I think in my heart, I knew I wanted to be a teacher but I struggled with the idea that I would never make as much money as some of my counterparts. Ultimately, I knew that I needed to not worry about money and I needed to focus on the calling that I knew I needed to serve which was to become an educator.” 

Wingspan: What do you think is the most important skill people should get out of your class? Why is that? 

Smith: “I think that one of the most important things that I teach is how to communicate effectively in the real world. Whether it is in written form or verbal form. Just learning how to be respectful in your interactions with people, how to express yourself eloquently, I think that is a skill that people are going to use in every walk of life; whatever job path they use.”

Wingspan: What is your teaching style like? 

Smith: “I think I am very laid back and easygoing. I like to create an environment where my kids are in control of their learning and not where they are being force-fed every direction that has to be carried out to complete an assignment. I feel like I just work personally best in an environment where I am given some autonomy and I like to pass that down to my students as well. It does not come naturally to me to be militant or dictatorial in the way that I lead.”

I like to create an environment where my kids are in control of their learning,”

— English teacher Shannon Smith

Wingspan: What is your proudest moment when it comes to teaching? 

Smith: “I was working with a 5th-grade student who was very challenging. He had a very difficult home life, which I didn’t know at the time and he came to school every day tired and haggard and just with a very bad attitude. He was a tough kid to connect with because he didn’t trust anybody, he was struggling every day. I just remember a moment when he and I were having a one-on-one conversation and he started to drop the walls, he started to share with me some of the hardships he was experiencing on a personal level. It became very apparent to me why the school wasn’t his number one priority. You have to figure out a way to connect and until you connect, it is really hard to academically get the kids where they need to be because some kids are struggling just to survive in this world.” 

Wingspan: How can English be used in real life? 

Smith: “I think that being able to use English effectively and correctly, helps people see you as credible in just about any arena of life. If you are articulate and well-spoken, if you can express yourself effectively, both verbally and in written form, people are going to be more likely to listen to what you have to say. I truly think it is something that anybody needs to know how to do is to communicate like an intelligent, respectful person.”

Graduating from UT Austin, Daniel Hauser is a new biology and anatomy and physiology teacher. He discovered his passion for biological and marine sciences throughout college.

Ayush Dane

Graduating from UT Austin, Daniel Hauser is a new biology and anatomy and physiology teacher. He discovered his passion for biological and marine sciences throughout college.

Daniel Hauser

Daniel Hauser, a graduate from University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a degree in biology. Here on campus, he’s teaching Biology and Anatomy & Physiology. In his 3rd year of teaching, Wingspan sat down with Hauser to learn more about his journey so far and what he wants to achieve this year. 

Wingspan: What inspired you to pursue teaching as a profession?

Hauser: “I started out in compliance work, environmental compliance at a construction company and it had some interesting aspects but it was very repetitive and when I got involved with teaching some kids I realized that youth are engaging, unpredictable, dynamic and I just found a joy in being a mentor and so I was like, “I can do this professionally!”. While I was working at this company to get certified to become a teacher, I was already in the workforce for a couple of years after college. And then I made the transition and it was the best transition ever because now even though the work I would say is harder than what I had, the purpose and the satisfaction is a lot greater. I hadn’t thought about being a teacher until a couple of years in the workforce.”

Wingspan: Why did you decide to choose biology?

Hauser: “At UT I fell in love with the biological sciences and marine science, just everything about cells, evolution and stuff like that and it was just my passion in college and then I kind of was using it out in the real world for a little bit doing environmental law but then I just found my love and passion for biology and the world of cells.”

Wingspan: As this is your first year on the campus, do you like it so far?

I love it here because, first of all, my team is very supportive, even the students are very supportive,”

— science teacher Daniel Hauser

Hauser: “Definitely, I liked it as Mesquite but I love it here because, first of all, my team is very supportive, even the students are very supportive. I have also already got an appreciation email.  So I feel like my students are engaged and I’m engaged and well supported by my team. So definitely five stars so far.”

Wingspan: What are your goals for the first year?

Hauser: “I really want to get good at getting organized, I’m not the most organized person. Being organized and using that organization and efficiency to be able to try new things and be okay with things not necessarily going perfectly but a lot of times in science and in the classroom mistaked happen and those are the most important things because that’s how we learn. And so I would say being organized and being okay, improvising and using mistakes to the advantage in the classroom.”

Wingspan: What were you like in high school?

Hauser: “I was a little bit of an enigma in high school, I was on the football team and I was also quite involved with theater so I was doing the one act plays and the UIL plays, improv team and stuff like that. But at the same time i was going to forney and places like that to play football games in farway districts and 2 a day in the summer. So athletic but also involved with theater. I felt like I was outgoing but what actually happened is when I was part of two spheres, I wasn’t the king of either one, just kind of not the popular theater kid nor the popular football kid. And I kinda liked it that way.”

Wingspan: How do you handle challenges or adversity with your students?

Hauser: “First of all, I need to have a good report with the student to know about the context of their situation as every student is unique and has their own situation. And so whether the adversity is academic or a home-life situation that depends on the approach. So first I have to know the student and that starts with learning their name which honestly has been a struggle lately, I have been trying to learn their names which is a lot. So incorporating both with leveraging that to help their growth in my classroom.”

Wingspan: How do you encourage students to express their creativity?

Hauser: “Well, right now we have the students doing some writing in science. With my anatomy kids they are writing a story, they get to choose any type of story they want but they have to use anatomical terminology for those stories. And then for my biology kids, I/m giving them open ended questions which don’t necessarily have a singular right answer and oftentimes they have to use their creativity and problem solving to give me the best answer. So a lot of kids like step by step solutions but in biology I try to show that the world is not cut and dry, the world is not black and white so they have to use creativity to understand those problems.”

Wingspan: What do you enjoy most about your job?

Hauser: “I enjoy the fact that it is not the same each day, which was one of my main motivators for changing careers,but also it all comes down to the kids, that’s the reason why its not the same it can be fantastic in certain ways and challenging in other ways and it keeps me on my toes but really it really comes down to loving the kids and loving the process of learning.”

Wingspan: What hobbies or interests do you have outside of school?

That’s gonna involve a lot of hard work, diligence, and I would say maintaining your positivity and finding out how you personally get encouraged,”

— science teacher Daniel Hauser

Hauser: “My main hobby as of now would be playing Dungeons and Dragons so I’m definitely gonna check out the tabletop club this year. And I also love playing chess. I keep track of the chess ratings and I’ll also join another club in which I think I’ll put my head into and see what’s going on. I know we have some pretty high rated players at liberty, in fact someone said that they were ranked 1900 chess rating, so you’re almost an international master and I’m excited to see the games they play. I really want to get involved in sports like sand volleyball or ultimate frisbee nowadays. Football was a thing of my youth.”

Wingspan: What is a piece of advice you would give to your students?

Hauser: “That’s gonna involve a lot of hard work, diligence, and I would say maintaining your positivity and finding out how you personally get encouraged. How your cup per se is being filled, if you’re always giving all your efforts into studying and you never maintain your balance, maintaining mental ‘homeostasis’ for example then I think you’re gonna get burned out. No matter how smart you are, you’re gonna end up falling flat. So figuring out how to balance your life is going to be most important. You’re gonna have multiple seasons of your life doing this and you need to make sure to balance everything.”

For+new+world+history+teacher+Julio+Enriquez%2C+the+relationships+with+the+students+are+the+best+thing+he+gets+out+of+teaching.+

Leen Al-etain

For new world history teacher Julio Enriquez, the relationships with the students are the best thing he gets out of teaching.

Julio Enriquez

Julio Enriquez has been teaching for 19 years. He started in 2002 in West Texas for several years, and moved to the DFW area about 11 years ago when he first moved over to Plano. 

Wingspan: What did you do before coming to this campus? 

Enriquez: “I was a teacher in Plano. The high school that I was at was at Sheppard High School which is a freshman sophomore campus that feeds into Plano West so it was on the west side of Plano.”

Wingspan: Why did you choose teaching over anything else?

Enriquez: “I chose to teach it because it’s something that I feel like I think being around students being around the young adolescents and having an opportunity to be a mentor role model for the younger generation is something that I’ve always been inspired to.”

I feel like I’m in a sense playing little part in the future of our societies,”

— world history teacher Julio Enriquez

Wingspan: What inspired you to become a teacher?

Enriquez: “The youth that are the kiddos have been around the kiddos, it helps me feel more energetic if it makes me feel a little bit more. Like I’m, I’m doing something bigger than myself that I’m helping the future generations to be successful and prepare them for whatever they want. To pursue in life. I feel like I’m in a sense playing little part in the future of our societies.”

Wingspan: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Enriquez: “Being around the kiddos, being around the kids seeing them on a day to day basis and of course working with the adults and the other teachers and being around other coaches and the athletes. I swear I really enjoyed being or being around the kiddos.”

Wingspan: What do you like to do in your free time?

Enriquez: “I’d spend most of my time with my family, where we’re, whether we’re going out to dinner or whether we’re going to go bowling gotta watch a movie. Being around my family is one thing that I enjoy spending my time with.”

Wingspan: What advice would you give to any of the students who wants to be a teacher?

Enriquez: “Don’t do it. Just kidding. I would say that for somebody who wants to be a teacher in the near future, is that you have to learn in a sense how to communicate with people and in a sense build relations and build relationships with other people and maintain positive relationships.”

Wingspan: What is difficult about teaching?

Enriquez: “Is it difficult sometimes… We do. We deal with a lot of paperwork. And then to some degree that can become a nuisance. But also the fact that you’re also dealing you’re also seeing a lot of the kids who haven’t, who lead trouble lives and in assessing it sometimes you feel like you can’t reach everybody and you can’t you can’t help every every single student that you want to help but I think that’s one of the biggest difficulties of being a teacher is that you see a lot of those things that a lot of other professionals don’t see.”

I’ve always loved history, always learning loads about learning about different things in the past, especially when it comes to European history like Rome, Greece,”

— world history teacher Julio Enriquez

Wingspan: While you were in school, has world history always been your favorite subject?

Enriquez: “It was one of actually I really enjoyed math. When I was growing up. Math was like my favorite subject growing up somewhere along the way, you know how you know languages. If you don’t use it, you kind of lose it. So when I got out of high school and got into college, my courses didn’t require a lot of math classes. And so I felt like my math skills have gone dramatically down. So my major would really focus more on social studies. So that’s where that’s where the history came in. And I’ve always loved history, always learning loads about learning about different things in the past, especially when it comes to European history like Rome, Greece. Those are always things that have been fascinating to me.”

Wingspan: What were you like in high school?

Enriquez: “In high school? I was. Honestly I was like a straight A student. I was an athlete. I was in a band. I was in theater, everything that I that that school had offered because I grew up in a very small town. So anything that school had offered, I wanted to do. I play football, basketball, I run track, I play golf. I play tennis. I was at one player, I was at any kind of club they offered, I wanted to be in it. So I guess you could say I was kind of a nerd back then. But I loved it because it exposed me to so many different things and I got to participate in so many different things.”

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