New Teachers

Ms. Joseph

By: James Lowdon

Ms. Joseph is a new teacher for AS English II sophomore students and teaches in room A101. Ms. Joseph went to St. Mary’s College in California and has been teaching for five years, most recently at a continuation school.

After teaching at BHS for several weeks, she said that BHS, “is bigger and students are very motivated”. Junha Park, a student from her 2nd period class said that “Ms. Joseph is easygoing, relatable, and smart, but knows how to control the class and teaches pretty effectively.

 

Mr. Dyl

By: Juliet Adelman

Growing up in Lake Orion, Michigan, science has always intrigued Joshua Dyl. He says that he believes it is “the best way to get at the truth of things.” Dyl attended Western Michigan University and Oakland University in Michigan. Dyl says “labs and activities are my favorite teaching techniques because they are interactive.”

A student in Dyl’s chemistry class and a Burlingame sophomore, Esetia Mataele says “instead of the student asking for help, [Dyl] offers first.” Dyl has taught chemistry at Mira Monte High School for the past six years, and this year we welcome him to Burlingame High School!

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 4.07.44 PM.png

Mr. Kish

By: Vishu Prathikanti

Many people know Kirby Kish, a math teacher in room 506, but almost no one knows about his extremely eventful life prior to teaching. Kish got his master’s degree in business administration from USC and his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cal Poly. Kish has held a multitude of interesting jobs, one of which included being a programmer for Sony, where he was assigned to work on the first Playstation. He was also a business consultant for Netflix back when it was only a couple people, and he is credited with coming up with the name for the company. Throughout all of his careers, however different, Kish knew that he loved to teach, which was why he became a high school teacher.

One of his students, Brandon Sullivan, says, “Mr. Kish has a fun way of getting material across to students and helping you understand it … Mr. Kish really makes the subject fun.”

Kish expressed his passion for teaching by saying, “I've always enjoyed seeing and helping people ‘get it’, and back when I was in marketing, I was teaching people. Whether it was seeking a vision, or whatever, I loved teaching.” Kish has already integrated himself into the BHS community by becoming a supervisor for the Burlingame Robotics team, and he will continue to further the school and community.

 

Mr. Lau

By: Daniel Yu

Sonny Lau is the newest addition to the Math Department at Burlingame High School. He has enjoyed his time at BHS so far and appreciates the warm atmosphere.

“The staff has been great, everyone has been friendly,” Lau said.

Lau previously worked at El Camino High School for seven years teaching statistics, geometry, algebra, and computer science. He also hosted the American Mathematics Competition, a series of competitions in high school mathematics that determine the United States team for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). Currently, Lau teaches Geometry Accelerated, a new program that teaches Geometry, Algebra 3-4, and Precalculus in two years, as well as Algebra 1.

Outside of school, Lau enjoys all things basketball related.

“I grew up playing basketball, I watch basketball, at El Camino I used to coach some basketball, so basketball is definitely my passion,” Lau said.

Presently, he scarcely has time to play the sport and enjoy it with a group of friends. If you ever run into him at school, don’t be afraid to say hi.

 

Mrs. Pittenger

By: Darrion Chen

Barbara Pittenger is a teacher who has recently been welcomed into the Panther community.

Pittenger teaches Biology in C205. Although she is new to BHS, she has been teaching around the country for more 39 years.

“I’ve taught Biology in many states. Mostly in Plano, Texas. I have a passion for Biology and sharing it,” Pittenger said.

Pittenger went to college in Wisconsin and Texas, and has recently moved to the Bay Area to be closer to her family.

“I really enjoy the California nature. I enjoy biking along the Half Moon Bay coast, and I especially like the weather,” Pittenger said.

After many schools and many years of teaching, Mrs Pittenger praises BHS as “one of the top schools” she has ever taught at.

 

Ms. Nguyen

By: Jilly Rolnick

With five years of teaching experience, Burlingame High students are lucky to welcome Carol Nguyen to the special education staff. Previously, Nguyen taught history, film, and psychology at a private school for children on the autism spectrum then went back to school to work on her masters in special education.

Nguyen is a Bay Area native, UC Davis graduate, and self proclaimed cat-lover. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and listening to all types of music. So far, Ms. Nguyen has greatly enjoyed working at BHS.

“The staff here is so supportive and I am so thankful to have amazing colleagues who are both patient and kind. I definitely feel a part of a good team, and I feel like I am doing really meaningful work.”

Ms. Nguyen also loves her students and is most excited to create some fun projects and performances for her students in the upcoming year because she thinks they learn better this way and have a better time doing them.

“I really hope to help my students build stronger academic, social, and organization skills. I want my students to leave high school feeling confident in their abilities and be able to find success after graduation.”

 

Mr. Dimech

By: Sasha Benke

This year we welcome Anthony Dimech, one of Burlingame High School’s many new teachers. Mr. Dimech is a new PE teacher at BHS, who previously taught at South San Francisco High School.

Dimech grew up in Burlingame, and is BHS alum. Prior to being a teacher, Mr. Dimech attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He teaches PE on the side, and the rest of the time he works for his own businesses.

“I became a PE teacher because I love sports, and I like to engage with kids… I chose to teach here because my kids go to school in Burlingame, it’s close to home, and I went here so I have a lot of memories from when I walked these halls,” Dimech said.  

 

Ms. Liberatore

By: Juliet Adelman

While it is not her first time teaching at Burlingame High School, Alison Liberatore decided to return to Burlingame this year after a three year break, during which she was teaching college and career writing essays at Middle College.

Liberatore grew up in Fairfax, California, and attended UC Davis, majoring in history. This year, Liberatore teaches U.S. History and A.P. Government at BHS. When asked what she loves most about history, Liberatore said, “putting things together, and seeing how they’ve unfolded over time. Also, where we can see the past in the present.”  

In her free time, she enjoys coaching AYSO, as well as playing soccer, and making jewelry. We are excited to welcome Ms. Liberatore back to Burlingame, and are very glad that she has returned!

 

Mr. Ferguson

By: Lena Banchero

Michael Ferguson is a new Freshman and Sophomore English teacher at Burlingame. Due to overcrowding, he shares a classroom with Ms. Joseph and Ms. Farley.

He describes the experience as “hectic going from class to class,” but adds that it doesn’t really matter in the “great school environment.”

While new to BHS, Ferguson is an SMUHSD native, having attended Capuchino High School. Then, he went on to San Francisco State University. Now a dedicated teacher, Mr. Ferguson describe his motives in choosing education as a career, “I love English. I was captured by short stories and gravitated towards helping people, and that equals teaching.”

When not teaching or grading papers, Mr. Ferguson enjoys movies and baseball.

 

Mr. Zozos

By: Daniel Yu

Michael Zozos is the newest addition to the Burlingame Social Sciences department. Before coming to BHS, Zozos taught multiple levels of history at El Camino High School for nine years. Mr. Zozos has greatly enjoyed his time at BHS.

“The reputation of the school, the faculty, and the students are what drew me in,” Zozos said.

Currently, he teaches Psychology, Modern World History, and US History. In his free time, he enjoys endurance sports such as biking and running. If you’d like to talk to him, you can find him in his room A142.

 

Ms. Tsachres

By: Sofia Guerra

Burlingame High School alumni and current health teacher Elizabeth Tsachres has returned to her alma mater to pursue an educational career. Originally studying to become a family therapist, Tsachres turned her career toward education to help kids cope with the stresses of everyday life as opposed to taking on the emotionally taxing job of counseling psychology.

“I really wanted to work towards preventative measures as opposed to putting out the fires as a therapist,” Tsachres said of her decision to become a health teacher.

After a stint at Linkedin, she traveled abroad and eventually became a student teacher at BHS and is now a staff member. Since becoming an official part of the staff, she has been able to connect with her students through her work and takes full advantage of her vivid memories of the school and of her teenage years.

The recent staff additions have evidently been a significant change since she attended high school, since “most of the teachers I had are still here,  Mr. Balmy, Mr. Larkin, Mrs. Murphy, and the entire English department.”

Familiarity with the environment and staff can come in handy to the new teacher, and while “my experience isn’t exactly the same...to a degree I feel like I can relate to them, because I went through some of the same things and went to some of the same classes.”

When she’s not teaching, Tsachres loves being outdoors, going on picnics and to the beach, as well as doing yoga, reading, writing, and cooking gluten free foods. Tsachres is also eager to meet the rest of BHS.

“There are a lot of personalities and most kids are super fun and eager to learn,”she said of her predominantly freshmen classes. Now, she hopes to branch out and teach psychology to upperclassmen, and looks forward to building a new relationship with the school she attended.

 

Ms. Khurshudyan

By Stella Lorence

Karine Khurshudyan, who has seven years of teaching experience- five at the college level and two at the high school level- now teaches Spanish at BHS.  Though neither English nor Spanish are Khurshudyan’s native language, she is very passionate about teaching Spanish, and not just the language either.

“I have the opportunity to introduce 22 countries, cultures, songs, expressions that are different in Spanish and in English--It’s fun,” she said.

Khurshudyan grew up in Armenia, and has only spent six years in the United States.  Before moving here, she lived in New York, and then Southern California, where she taught at the high school and college level.

When not teaching, Khurshudyan enjoys hiking, going to concerts, photography, spending time with friends and family, and “everything fun.”

 

Mr. Whitehorn

By Mira Guleri

Previously teaching at Mills High School, new Special Ed instructor Tim Whitehorn found the opportunity to join the Burlingame High School community, “too good to pass up.”

He began as a teacher aid at Mills and planned to go into history, but soon realized that Special Ed was for him.

"It just seemed right, like this is what I'm supposed to be doing," he said.

Whitehorn indicated that because of the Special Ed program, his small class sizes allow him to work one on one with his students and form better relationships with them.

“I get to watch them grow more than if I had thirty-five of them at once,” he explained.

Whitehorn currently teaches Directed Study, Modern World History, American Government, and English at Burlingame.

Beyond teaching, Whitehorn has a penchant for soccer, especially the Chelsea football team based out of London. He runs a supporters club for the team and sells game tickets to people who live in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii and Idaho. Whitehorn revealed that his fondness of the Chelsea team developed based on sibling rivalry when he was a kid.

“One of my older brothers liked a different team so I had to pick somebody else--you know--to spite him. And I became obsessed.”

 

Mr. Myers

By Chelsea Lopez

Mr. Myers is one of the new additions this year to the Burlingame High School teachers staff. Myers teaches all subjects for the adult transitioning special educations classes.

So far Myers has enjoyed his time at Burlingame.

“I love it, there’s a lot of good support here. The kids are great, the whole community is fantastic,” Myers said.

During his spare time Myers enjoys hiking, watching movies, snowboarding in tahoe and lounging. Currently Myers enjoys having “couch time”, where he can catch up on his favorite TV shows.  

When asked about his current favorite TV show, Myers responded,“Stranger Things, love that show, it's a little scary but it has a good storyline and also 30 rock.”

If you ever find yourself near the F-building, be sure to say hello to Mr.Myers and chat with him about Stranger Things or 30 Rock.

Posted on September 26, 2016 .