Wildcats Welcome New Teachers

BY GARY LEE                                                                  



Anika Estes (Culinary)

Why did you decide to teach at Glen A. Wilson?

“I wanted to be a part of a school where admin and students were both very [dedicated] and invested in creating a great future for students. I saw that Wilson was a high-performance school and that they were very determined to create a unique pathway for each student. This mindset of admin really aligned with my own, and that was why I was so happy to teach here.”

Why did you choose to teach culinary?

“I have always loved food. I chose culinary because when I was in college, the professor was so terrible that several people dropped out of the passion they wanted to pursue as a career. That inspired me to do the opposite, and ignite the passion in students instead of [extinguish] it. I want them to realize that there are many different avenues they can take in this industry and help retain good people.”

What is another subject that you would like to teach?

“Another subject I would love to teach is film appreciation. I loved that a good film could be a ‘snapshot’ of society. It could achieve several certain points, for example, the hero movies of today reflect that the people themselves wanted to be the hero of their own stories. It is the reflection of the idealism and viewpoint of society at the moment. It is interesting how a film can tell us where we are right now as a society.”

What is your favorite food?

“I like anything that is either seafood or Asian. I particularly like noodles, because it is interesting how the same ingredients with different order and amount can change a dish so drastically.”

What is your favorite way to spend the weekends?

“My favorite way to spend a weekend is hanging out with friends, cooking, watching movies, crafting, yoga, ‘boring’ things in general.”



Erika Urday (Spanish)

Have you taught before coming to Wilson?

“Yes, I have taught at two schools before Wilson, and the experience is always amazing. I am happy to say that I have made great memories here so far.”

Are there any way you can improve on your teaching?

“Yes, there is always something new to learn as a teacher.I would like to improve overall by comprehending the material, spanish, better, so I can teach the students in a more [understandable way].”

What can you do to be more helpful to the students?

“I try to [hear out] my students, see what is bothering them and help them in any way I can so that they do not worry so much about it anymore.”

Hunting or fishing?

“I have not hunted or fished before, but I enjoy going to new places and love to watch my children play sports, because then I can watch them practice and play games with others.”

What do you do to pass the time?

“I pass time by [spending] time with family, doing house chores, and finding community work to do when I have nothing else to do at home.”



Ashly Gonzalez (Special Education)

How did you end up becoming a teacher?

“I [used] to work as an aid in special education and that was how I decided I want to become a teacher. I got my degree in liberal studies and two credentials in education and know I am here.”

What do you think is a teacher’s greatest fear?

“Not having an impact on their kids. Sometimes we work really hard to spread our ideas to the students, but it does not go through sometimes, which is frustrating. Being a teacher is like coming up with a million ways to teach one thing.”

How do you feel about this job?

“I feel that this job is challenging, but in a good way. The school, staff, and the students have been very welcoming, [and because of this], I try my best to get to know all of my students and what they are interested in.”

Pancakes or waffles?

“Waffles, because they are delicious, very crispy, and can hold the syrup in each square. I also love to use my waffle iron!”

Do you play an instrument?

“No, I do not play any instruments. While I do mess around with pianos and guitars, I do not commit myself to practice. I would love to play the drums and the  bass guitar as well. I am inspired by bands such as Foofighters and Greenday.”



Steve Gonzales (Special Education)

Do you like staying at Wilson?

I really enjoy my time here at Wilson so far. I was already familiar with teaching at high schools, so transferring to here was a great decision, because I think Wilson is one of the best schools. The staff are really friendly, the students are all [spirited] and respectful, and overall atmosphere of the place is great.”

What would you do if you were instructed to another subject?

“I would be really excited at the idea of teaching something different. I am currently teaching math, but I have taught different subjects in the past, so I am always looking for different things. I enjoy teaching new subjects because I am able to learn about that subject and how to teach it to students.”

How do you feel about the students at Wilson?

“So far, the students have been extremely respectful and friendly, and I have enjoyed working with them as a class as well as one-to-one. I have gotten to know most of them during the first couple of weeks, and all of them have such cool and unique personalities. The culture and atmosphere here is really contagious.”

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be and why?

“I would love to have a couple of cats. They are very sneaky and playful, and much less maintenance than dogs.”

Do you prefer animations or TV shows?

“As I have grown up I have preferred TV shows because I like the way to see different actors and how they are able to express their emotions on screen. I would love to have a couple of cats. They are very sneaky and playful, and much less maintenance than dogs.”



Judy Chap (Science)

What does it mean to be a teacher?

“To me, being a teacher means you [are always] there for your students and you are guiding them along with being a mentor. It is more than just teaching the concept and subjects, it is about guiding them to the right path and making sure that they are  reaching their fullest potential to fulfill their own dreams.”

What do you think your responsibility as a teacher is?

“To continue guiding students so that they can reach their highest potential and potentially go to college or pursue a career early on. I want to teach them critical thinking skills so that that way in any career that they choose, they could be successful.”

What would you say to future teachers?

“I would tell future teachers to be disciplined and find balance in their lives. Try to get as much work done at school and do not take work home. Plan, plan, and plan! Classroom management is a critical criteria for a positive atmosphere, and will benefit the students in the long run.”

What do you think is the trendiest modern topic?

I do not know what is cool right now, but when I was teaching in middle school, Fortnite was cool. I am not sure about the high school, I am still getting to know the students!”

What would you do if you found yourself stranded in a foreign country?

“I would definitely ask for help. I would buy all the books that is necessary for communication, and try the foods there. I feel that communication is a skill you really need to get what you need. No matter the language, I will utilize sign language, google, and smartphones to communicate with others and ask for help.”


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