New teachers, new perspectives


Meilan Steimle

Chris Thompson is a new teacher in the Business and Economic Department. “It’s important for students to learn about business, entrepreneurship and economics because they’re really about life, and even though there’s this perception that business is for adults, the business of life is buying and selling ideas and items and all sorts of things, so it’s really the most practical course in the curriculum from my perspective,” he said.

There are many new teachers at the Upper School for the 2015-2016 school year. These teachers come from diverse backgrounds and have shared their thoughts on the upcoming school year.

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Anu Datar – Computer Science

“Computers are everywhere, and I feel the earlier you get your hands on technology, the more comfortable you feel with the advancement that’s happening. Every day there’s a new thing coming up. So I personally feel that getting the hang of computer science is essential at an early stage. I think students at Harker are getting a wonderful opportunity to learn advanced topics at a young age.”

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Byron Stevens – History

“I like history because it’s like reading a newspaper that’s been edited by time, for centuries, for millennia, picking out the most interesting, important, influential stories from the narrative of the human experience. The reason I like to teach history is that it’s ultimately malleable, it’s never static. Time doesn’t actually edit history, people do.”

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Michelle Andelman – English

“I think literature is at its core about humanity, so I think studying literature teaches you about others’ experiences, and it deepens the level of empathy with which you approach others and the world.

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Rae Ann Prado – College Counseling
“For the last three years I was auditing and maintaining freshmen and transfer applications. With that, I’m able to bring that experience and expertise, and I’m doing everything I’ve done over the years in this position, so I’m able to fall right into this. Now I’m on the front side.”

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Richard Bailey – Spanish
“It is important to learn Spanish because it is the third most widely spoken language in the world and spoken in 22 different countries. It has a beautiful long history and literature and the cinema and art and everything, it is key to understand the language to be able to understand the culture and the art that comes with it.”

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Clifford Hull – History and Latin
“With Latin, I think Latin is such an integral part of English. If you were to take latin out of English, there would not be very much left. Sixty percent of English would come from Latin. Also, learning about the ancients will teach you lessons from the past. You know they always say and examine life is not worth living if you don’t study or look at the past, you’re going to make the same mistakes, so theres a lot of stuff that you can learn.”

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Sheva Momenian – Math
“It’s going to be involved with almost every aspect of their future, whether its with work or making financial decisions for their family. Math is a natural part of our day to day lives.”

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David Casso – Chemistry
“Chemistry offers great problem solving skills and life skills. There’s chemistry all around us… weather, and it’s understanding how our bodies work or just trying to cook breakfast or dinner, or make cookies. It’s everywhere. Learning chemistry and really understanding it allows us to understand our world and function in it at a much higher level.”

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Sandra Berkowtiz – Speech & Debate
“I think that [speech and debate] are skillsets that help you to develop critical speaking, critical listening, and critical thinking skills, so those are the skillsets that are most obviously focused on in terms of that. It seems to me that students who are planning on going to college, all Harker students, students who are planning to go into fields like science could certainly benefit from that.”