The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

Students adjust to half a dozen teacher classroom changes in the 2023-2024 school year

Room 185. That’s where English department chairman Scott Rosenkranz usually teaches his English and International Baccalaureate [IB] Theory of Knowledge classes.

But not this school year.

Math teacher and girls basketball head coach Jae Byun’s in there now.

But wasn’t Byun in Room 71? That room’s occupied this semester by new Spanish teacher Chris Llamas.

So where’s Rosenkranz now? He can be found in Room 180, where social science teacher Patrick Debacker used to reside before retiring at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

“Toward the end of the school year, Mr. Rosenkranz told all the IB students in person that he is going to be the new IB coordinator and how he is moving to Room 180 so we should think of a new name for it,“ said senior Matias Perez, who had Rosenkranz for Theory of Knowledge last year. “There was no confusion, as all the classroom numbers are on Aeries, and with the new remodeling of the room, it looks more modern.” 

On the other hand, forward sophomore Arianna Holguin struggled to find Byun’s new classroom, as it was on the second floor.

“Although coach Byun sent out an email about how the girls basketball meetings will now be in Room 185 roughly two weeks before school started, it took me a bit to realize it was upstairs on the first day of school,” said Holguin, who had Byun as her girls basketball coach since freshman year. “I think it was nice that he moved because the room is a lot cleaner and bigger than Room 71.”

As a result of recent retirements and an increase in staff hiring, Rosenkranz and Byun are among the six returning faculty who have moved to new classrooms for the start of the 2023-2024 school year. 

One main reason for the transitions was to group teachers by subjects, principal Craig Weinreich said. 

“We try to arrange the teachers this way because it is better to be closer to the people they often work with and places where they feel comfortable and are convenient for them,” Weinreich said. “The retirements last year opened up a lot of rooms and caused some of the movement of classrooms, but we always talk with the teachers to figure it out.” 

After former science teacher and boys soccer head coach Mike Schade announced his retirement in May, chemistry teacher Mason Morris said he was offered an opportunity to move from Room 104 to Room 114 to join many of the other science instructors, Morris said. The other teachers not in that wing are Kathy Bevill — Morris’ old neighbor in Room 102 — newly hired instructors Westley Fairall in Room 104 (Morris’ old room) and Monet Favreau in Room 105.

Veterans David Kim and Kelly Kim remain in Rooms 82 and 83, respectively.

“Although I was in the science area near the biology teachers, now being with all the chemistry teachers in a row makes things a lot more convenient because it is easier to share supplies and talk to each other,” Morris said. “Obviously, moving all of my supplies and equipment was a challenge, but I am also very happy to have a bigger room for labs and activities so the benefits definitely outweigh the costs.”

Having frequently had technical difficulties like sharing tools with fellow chemistry teachers throughout the year because of the classroom’s location, Morris told his students about this change toward the end of last school year and he said they were supportive and happy for him.

“As I had Mr. Schade for Biology Honors freshman year, I thought Mr. Morris moving there was great because it’s easier to find him now, and there’ll be more room for labs and teaching in general,” said junior Sienna Shah, who had Morris for Chemistry Honors last year. “When I was in his class, it was pretty difficult to move around and share equipment as the spaces were narrow, so I think it was a smart decision.”

Similarly, Spanish teacher Cindy Ruiz requested to move into former Spanish teacher Gene Bordy’s classroom after his retirement announcement went public. Before leaving the campus for good, Bordy also showed Ruiz some of the equipment that she could inherit, which sealed the deal for her to move two doors down from 72 to 74.

“When he showed me the sound system in his room and how it would be a great fit for a Spanish teacher like me to take over the room, I was really impressed and interested,” Ruiz said. “Around the last week of last school year, I asked [assistant principal Sarah] Murrietta if I could move into Mr. Bordy’s room, and she approved, but I didn’t physically start moving stuff until the week before school.”

Following former art teacher and IB coordinator Brian Wall’s retirement, Rosenkranz — Wall’s successor — said it was time for him to take in a change of scenery as well.

“Because I took over the IB coordinator position, I wanted a classroom that was more visible on campus,” said Rosenkranz, who teaches zero period English 2 Honors and second period Theory of Knowledge. “Having requested this change last spring and it being approved at the beginning of June, I am satisfied, and my students this year have reacted positively.”

Upon noticing Rosenkranz was moving classrooms, Byun said he was quick to request moving into Room 185 by asking Murrietta.

“I wanted to move to this building because I wanted a bigger classroom for teaching and basketball meetings,” he said. “I also wanted to be next to coach [Joe] Ok, who is in Room 186, so it was the perfect opportunity.”

Weinreich said school officials have no set rules or procedures for teachers who want to switch classrooms.

“There’s no set process to requesting classrooms like a form they have to fill out, and instead they can just talk to Ms. Murrietta who oversees it all,” the principal said. “We try our best to meet the teachers’ preferences through conversations but most of the time, especially for new teachers, we simply assign classrooms for them near colleagues they may often work with.”

Art teacher Vashtty Lemus moved into Wall’s classroom in Room 137 to replace him as the communication design teacher.

“I am more of a go-with-the-flow type of person so when the administration asked if I wanted to move to Room 137, I accepted,” Lemus said. “It is nice to have a bigger classroom, and I knew it was more convenient for me than to have to move the computers to Room 22.”

Newly hired art teacher Chablis Bates ended up being assigned Lemus’ old classroom, Room 22.

The sixth and last teacher classroom change involved math teacher Christina Vu, who had expressed interest to school officials last school year about moving rooms, as she felt Room 105 was too small. 

Vu got her wish, but only a week before the start of the 2023-2024 school year, as the administration notified her about the change then.  

“I appreciate the new location because it is really convenient to meet the other math teachers and is closer to the parking lot,” said Vu, who switched from Room 105 to 97 after math teacher Darius Durham did not get an offer to return for the 2023-2024 school year. “My previous classroom was more fit for science teachers with sinks and big tables, so I am satisfied with the bigger classroom and smaller desks.”

With the recent fulfillment of many classroom movement requests, Weinreich said the majority of the teachers seem satisfied with where they are now.

“As we had more hirings and retirements than usual last year, I would expect less of the movement to happen next year,” he said. “In the future, I hope to see the whole school organized into wings and sections by subjects.”

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Aiden Park, Opinion Editor
Having been the arts & entertainment editor last year, senior Aiden Park is excited to continue his journey in The Accolade as he returns as the co-opinion editor. He hopes to make great memories and contributions to the staff. Outside of The Accolade, Park works part-time and runs in the cross country and track and field team.
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