By Daniel Kokoski
APED (Associate Principal of Educational Development) Jacqueline Ng will be leaving Piedmont Hills after working as a history teacher for seven years, Associate Principal of Administration for two and a half years and APED for half a year, totaling to 11 years.
Ms. Ng will be moving to Southern California and will be working in a similar position as an Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction at another high school.
“My husband lives in Los Angeles and we have had a long-distance relationship for almost three years. We want to be together!” exclaimed Ms. Ng.
Ms. Ng hopes to be able to utilize the skills she has acquired through leading Piedmont Hills to hopefully start her own school in China.
“It’s important for students to know that they should enjoy their time in high school,” advised Ms. Ng. “Find that balance between meeting academic expectations and just being a teenager. Make happiness and well-being your every day goals.”
Math teacher Joseph Keuter will be retiring from Piedmont Hills after serving for 25 years.
One of the first things Mr. Keuter plans to do after he retires is to visit his son in South Carolina. His son had always been the one to visit Mr. Keuter, so he wants to return the favor for his son.
“I’ve been promising my son in South Carolina that I would come visit him in June since I haven’t had a chance to do so,” said Mr. Keuter.
Along with visiting his son, Mr. Keuter has other plans in mind, such as cleaning up his house, cooking and exercising more often to maintain a healthy life.
“I plan to do a lot of walking and moving around,” casually described Mr. Keuter. “I even have a nice exercise room upstairs with an exercise bike, weight set and tread walkers. I just haven’t had the time to use it that often.”
Mr. Keuter had become fond of the school and will miss the time he has spent here when he leaves.
“Piedmont’s a really great place. The kids are nice, very responsive and care about their education,” remarked Mr. Keuter.
Science teacher Archie Kregear is retiring after having taught for 13 years at Piedmont Hills. Mr. Kregear had taught Biology, AP Biology and Biotechnology on campus.
With the end of the school year closing in, Mr. Kregear has dynamic plans in mind, such as traveling all around the world.
“I would like to go just about anywhere,” eagerly expressed Mr. Kregear.
Along with traveling, Mr. Kregear will begin doing hikes more often for exercise and just for fun. Likewise, Mr. Kregear also enjoys photography, and takes photos on his hikes.
“I do a lot of nature photography; like taking pictures of flowers, bugs, and animals,” described Mr. Kregear.
Although he has his leisure planned out, the memories that Mr. Kregear made at Piedmont Hills are irreplaceable.
“Piedmont’s a good school with a lot of good students so I’ve enjoyed my time,” chuckled Mr. Kregear.
Having taught at Piedmont Hills for 32 years, science teacher Charles London will be retiring at the end of the school year.
When he leaves, Mr. London plans to travel to places such as Colorado and Australia.
“After I travel, I’ll probably take some motorcycle rides around California,” said Mr. London. “I enjoy riding motorcycles and even driving my sports car.”
Mr. London will dearly miss teaching at Piedmont Hills.
“I felt very fortunate to get hired here in the first place, and I’ve never wanted to change schools because we have a great science department,” expressed Mr. London. “I enjoyed laughing with the students and the teachers, just having good times with the people I’ve met.”
Mr. London advises students to value the long term benefits of educating themselves.
“I would encourage everyone to continue their education, (it)will help them in the long run,” affirmed Mr. London.
After having taught at Piedmont Hills for 22 years, Industrial Education teacher David Fredericks is retiring at the end of the school year.
Following his departure, Mr. Fredericks plans to travel around the world and fly fish, one of the things he enjoys most.
“Fly fishing is a style of fishing in which you fish with artificial flies as bait, cast those out into the water and then the fish swims by, looks at it, and bites it.” thoroughly explained Mr. Fredericks.
Fly fishing is Mr. Fredericks’ passion, as he has been fishing for a while. He had fished all over the west in places including Canada, South America and Idaho. A fun fact about him is that the license plate of his car has the phrase “to fish” in Spanish.
“When fishing, you’re out in nature and it’s very interactive,” said Mr. Fredericks. “It takes intelligence and skill to fish, so it can be very challenging.”
As he will make his departure soon, Mr. Fredericks will miss the time he spent at Piedmont Hills.
“It’s been a really fine, great experience. I’ve really enjoyed being here,” smiled Mr. Fredericks.
Spanish teacher Blanca Sandoval-Guerra will be retiring after working for 20 years.
Ms. Sandoval plans to read and cook more often during her free time. Also, she hopes to travel to countries such as Spain, Italy and Japan.
Even though she is retiring, Ms. Sandoval had no regrets during her teaching career and greatly enjoyed the journey.
“Teaching was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was born to be a teacher,”passionately conveyed Ms. Sandoval.
Educating her students and witnessing their development as people is a fulfilling passion that can never be replaced.
“I enjoy seeing the progress of my students, their growth and their acquisition of the language from the beginning of the school year to being able to fluently express Spanish with perfect accent at the end of the year,” expressed Ms. Sandoval. “But I hope that I was able to teach not only the language but also skills and knowledge that would be useful for them in life.”
Ms. Sandoval hopes that students will learn of the valuable impact that education can have on their lives.
“Education is not just a way to a goal, but is also a rewarding experience. Learning is about enjoying the actual process, and I think that a person who discovers that is a very lucky person.”
Physical Education teacher Brian Ward will be retiring after teaching at Piedmont Hills for about 32 years.
Mr. Ward plans to travel to places such as the Caribbean and Australia. Along with traveling, Mr. Ward also wants to perform with his guitar more often in the future.
“I usually perform at local restaurants, private parties and even weddings,” said Mr. Ward.
Mr. Ward’s teaching experience at Piedmont Hills was phenomenal, and he appreciates the support of the school’s staff members.
“The support here is unbelievable,” declared Mr. Ward. “I worked with some really great teachers, and the principal has been very supportive by providing the facilities for our special education events.”
One of Mr. Ward’s memorable experiences are the annual barbecues held for his students.
“At the end of every year, we have a barbecue for my kids,” fondly recalled Mr. Ward. “We award our seniors trophies and we give out other awards as well.”
Mr. Ward advises students to try new things and become involved in new activities.
“Push yourself to get involved in things you haven’t done,” stated Mr. Ward.
Gardener Rudy Borello will be retiring after working at Piedmont Hills for eight years.
As our school’s gardener, Mr. Borello takes care of the plants, and keeps the campus clean.
“I make sure the grass is green, the shrubs and trees are trimmed, have the trash picked up and make sure every plant is watered,” elaborated Mr. Borello. “All of that alone keeps me pretty busy.”
When he retires, Mr. Borello plans to do gourmet cooking, travel to national parks and fish. However, he will greatly miss working for Piedmont Hills.
“Honestly, I really don’t want to leave this school,” admitted Mr. Borello. “I still enjoy working here, but I’m getting too tired to be outside in the heat all day and waking up at 4 AM every day. This kind of work wears me down over a long period of time.”
Despite the hard work of being a gardener, Mr. Borello enjoyed serving Piedmont Hills, and was fond of the students and staff here.
“I take pride in this school and the work that I do,” happily stated Mr. Borello. “I worked at several schools in the East Side school district but this is the best school I’ve worked at.”
Math teacher Jovita Nava will be retiring at the end of the school year after having taught at Piedmont Hills for 18 years.
Ms. Nava would like to travel in the near future, but remains undecided as to where to visit.
“I have all the time to decide after I retire, so I don’t have to plan for anything.” joked Ms. Nava.
Throughout her teaching career at this campus, Ms. Nava enjoyed teaching math of various levels like CCSS (Common Core State Standards) Math 1 and AP Calculus AB to her students.
“It’s always nice to teach students, especially if they’re interested in the subject,” said Ms. Nava.Teaching has always been a fulfilling responsibility for Ms. Nava as she makes a difference in the lives of her students.
“Teachers always make a difference on the students,” affirmed Ms. Nava. “Whether it be a positive or negative way, but there will always be a difference.”
Ms. Nava advises students to use technology responsibly without abusing it, like using it for cheating.
“Use technology in a positive way rather than use it as a quick shortcut. You won’t learn anything from taking shortcuts like that.”
After having been a teacher for about 40 years throughout his career, Mr. Reyes believes that Piedmont Hills is the best school he has taught at.
Mr. Reyes’ first plan on his to-do list is to travel back to Mexico to visit his family and friends. Before he started teaching at our campus, Mr. Reyes taught most of his career in Mexico.
“This school is the best well-rounded school with good parents, good students, good administrators, good staff,” confidently stated Mr. Reyes. “For me, everything here is the perfect balance.”
Although he is departing soon, Mr. Reyes will cherish the time he had spent here as a teacher.
“At the end of every school year, some students give me cards and are very thankful,” recalled Mr. Reyes. “Saying things like ‘Mr. Reyes, you were a great teacher, I learned a lot from your classes.’ Those are the best compliments somebody can give a teacher like me.”
Mr. Reyes advises students to stay in school and to pursue post-secondary education.
“Education is a warranty that you will succeed in life,” asserted Mr. Reyes.