By Diane Tran

Michelle Flores


How did you feel about getting a position here at PHHS?

“Since I graduated from Piedmont, it [has] always been a dream to come back and work here, just because I felt like this was the school that got me on the path to wanting to become a teacher.  So, I was really excited when I was finally able to come back to my higher ship.”

What is one thing you love about PHHS?

“The kids. The kids are really caring towards another.  They are really motivated in school.  They treat each other really well.  It’s just a very good atmosphere compared to other schools.  It’s just a good community.”

Interesting fact: Ms. Flores used to be a former Pirate and taught at Live Oaks!  ### 126/80


Justine Kunkel


How do you feel about counseling at PHHS?

“I was really super excited.  You know I used to work here as a PARA (Parent Education in the Special Ed Department) about two years ago.  I really loved working here.  The staff is awesome, the students here are awesome.  Counseling is something I am really passionate about.  I’m glad to be back here as a counselor.”

Interesting fact: Ms. Kunkel is a freshman advisor and she used to work at Piedmont Hills and James Lick High School.


Katherine Lighty


Why History?

“I really like history.  I’m fascinated by the choices the people make and the interactions between different cultures and different eras.  So, history allows me to study people and the way their behavior [impacts] a larger scale.”

What is the difference between Piedmont and Palo Alto Preparatory?

“Some of it is just the scale of things.  The last school where I was we had about 75 students in grades 9-12.  It was really small. Generally, my class sizes would be between 7 and 12 students.  So getting used to being at a school that has 2000 students has been fun, but it is definitely different than where I was before.”

Interesting fact: Ms. Lighty has blue/purple hair, can eat fire, and loves to knit.


Gerald Johnson


Why Nutrition and Home Economics?

“Well, normally in the past, I would’ve taught performing arts (music).  However, this year there was an opening and I had taught five weeks last year and I really liked it.  I like the school.  I like the kids.  I love the subject, being able to help everyone eat and cook healthy nutritious food.”

What have you done before teaching at PHHS?

“I taught at Yerba Buena for six years.  And then I went into high technology and worked primarily in sales for twenty years, Oracle, Apple, and a bunch of startups.  Then I realized I wanted to get back into teaching.”

Interesting fact: Mr. Johnson used to teach computer technology and music.  His degree originally was in music.


Ryan Lundell


What was your aspiration besides being a teacher?

“Mainly, I wanted to be a NBA player.  As I got into high school, I wasn’t going to get much taller than I am and I [couldn’t] really jump, so I knew at that point I needed to get a second career.  But I never really knew what I wanted to do, and even after college it was still like, ‘Do I really want to teach?’  Once I started student teaching, that’s when it became very evident that this is fun, you can have a lot of fun doing it, you can be very creative, you have quite a bit of freedom to use your creativity in the classroom in the way which you like.  That is why this [has to] be my career, it is so much fun. I really enjoy it.

Interesting fact: Mr. Lundell taught at Andrew Hill, Oak Grove, and Yerba Buena. He was a bartender for 8 years.


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