This story was updated on Sept. 18 with student quotes.
Just weeks after the first day of school, new English 1 college preparatory [CP] and English 4 Expository Reading and Writing Course [ERWC] teacher Kady Fibrow has created a welcoming atmosphere for her students.
“I love this quote: ‘It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up,’ by [former Green Bay Packers legend] Vince Lombardi,” said Fibrow, the first out-of-district, full-time English position filled since 2008. “I often think of this quote because we all have setbacks and small failures in life, and with this, I tell my students and myself to have a growth mindset, which I offer through journals, reflections, test retakes and tutoring.”
Yearbook adviser Lindsay Safe, who has known Fibrow since 2010, was thrilled to find out that she had been hired into the English Department.
“[Fibrow] is an incredibly warm and caring person, someone you can’t help but like,” Safe said. “She always has a smile on her face and sees the best in people and life.”
Before being a part of the staff, Fibrow began her teaching career at Glen A. Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, where she worked for three years and taught various English subjects such as English 1 College Prep, English 1 Honors, English 4 College Prep, ERWC and AP Literature.
She then worked for five years at Pioneer High School in Whittier, teaching similar courses, making this year her ninth year as a teacher.
Before pursuing education as a career, Fibrow wanted to enter the fiction-writing field.
“Growing up, I hoped to one day be a writer [because] I think words hold so much power if we use them correctly,” she said.
But after college, she became interested when she volunteered for Better Learning for All Students Today [BLAST], a program that supports students in Long Beach.
“I actually enjoyed English in school, making me want to become an English teacher,” Fibrow said.
However, teaching English was not her only field of expertise. Fibrow also coached for the cross country and long distance track teams during her tenure at Pioneer High School.
“At my old high school in Temple City High School [in the San Gabriel Valley], I was a cheerleader and runner, competing in both cross country and track,” she said. “Being a runner myself, I enjoyed coaching the track team.”
Some of Fibrow’s current hobbies include running, reading, spending time at the beach and spending time with her husband and two daughters, Charlie, 3, and Colbie, 1.
“I am just getting back into racing half-marathons,” she said. “I also used to surf but don’t get to go out as much anymore.”
To become an English teacher, Fibrow majored in English and received her bachelor of arts degree from California State University, Long Beach, in 2008. She then continued to earn her teaching credential from the same university in 2010.
“After earning those degrees, I later went back to school to get my master of science degree from California State University, Fullerton, to earn a degree in reading and literacy leadership.” she said. “One day, I hope to become a reading specialist.”
While finalizing the decision to hire Fibrow, English Department chairman Scott Rosenkranz said he was amazed by her professionalism and her passion to help students connect with the SH experience.
“There’s a healthy dynamic that happens in an organization when someone brings a new perspective,” he said. “[She] has an impressive range of experience and expertise, which made her a great fit for Sunny Hills that definitely came across in the interview.”
After the first month of the school year, some of her freshmen English students are also impressed with their new teacher.
“She really knows how to explain things well to me,” said Katherine Arellanos, who’s in Fibrow’s Period 5 class. “She’s really helpful, and she makes English a lot easier.
“Fibrow doesn’t give us as much homework, which I love.”
Freshman David Eymann, who’s also in Fibrow’s Period 5 class, has noticed some of her strengths with her students.
“She’s very nice, and she has a lot of patience with our class,” Eymann said. “Whenever I don’t understand anything, she tries really hard for us to fully understand and become better students in her class. She’s very detailed when she explains things, and she cares for each individual student.”
Fibrow’s goal this year is to get involved in the classroom and see her students in other aspects of school life, such as sports and clubs.
“I am excited to be at Sunny Hills and see all the wonderful things that happen on this campus,” Fibrow said. “I can’t wait to see my students perform and participate in various activities and athletics on campus.”