SNAPSHOTS Newsletter

Explore our latest stories, curated from our SNAPSHOTS Newsletter. Get inspired by educators and students within our network of 18 schools. Every two months, we will feature student and teacher profiles and good news from around the network.

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Teacher PROfile: Distance learning is marked by challenges, and it also provides opportunities to spark curiosity

We met virtually with Rekha Prakash, a Biotechnology Instructor at Roosevelt High School who also plays a role in the Medical & Health Sciences Linked Learning pathway and as an advisor to the Health Occupations Students of America to hear about how distance learning has been going for her and her students. Read more below....

Student Spotlight: Loving math and art, and dreaming of becoming an architect

We connected over Zoom with Brandy Altamira, an 11th-grade student at Santee Education Complex, whose dream is to become an architect. Learn more about her and her incredible passion for math below. Brandy is grateful for all the support she has received from the school staff at Santee. ¿Cómo te sientes en Santee? / How...

Student Spotlight: Celeste dreams of going to Columbia University and becoming an FBI criminal profiler

We connected virtually with Celeste Enriquez, 7th-grade student at Stevenson College & Career Preparatory (middle school), to learn about her hopes and dreams for the future. Celeste finds the study of human behavior fascinating and dreams of becoming an FBI criminal profiler. What was your biggest learning this year – about yourself and/or your online...

Teacher PROfile: Sharon has been whole-child-centered for 33 years

We met virtually with Sharon Westbrook, 3rd-grade teacher at Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School, to learn more about her 33 years as an educator and her nuggets of wisdom during this period of distance learning. Sharon hopes we maintain a sense of community and generosity of spirit when we return to campus. Since the beginning...

Teacher PROfile: SEL Leads to Growth Mindset and Perseverance When Learning Becomes Difficult

We met virtually with Maria Mendez, Resource Specialist Teacher, Parent Engagement Lead, and former Restorative & College Culture Lead at Twentieth Street Elementary School to understand the important stage that social-emotional learning is taking during distance learning. Read more below. Maria strongly believes that SEL helps students persevere through difficult times.  How vital is social-emotional...

Student Spotlight: The Alto Sax Helped 8th-Grader Cope With the Pandemic

We connected virtually with Adam Barillas, an 8th-grade student at Hollenbeck Middle School to learn about his interest in music and how it helped him during the pandemic, and his year-long participation in the school’s music academy. Hollenbeck’s Music Academy is directed by Mr. Erick Quintanilla alongside Mr. Christian Melgoza, who is the strings director....

Student Spotlight: Graduates from the Partnership network share distance learning successes and challenges; responsibilities and motivation were key areas of focus

We connected virtually with graduates from all Partnership high schools — Santee Education Complex, MSTMA at Roosevelt, Mendez High School, Jordan High School, and Roosevelt High School — to get their perspectives on distance learning.  We asked them the same question: What was your biggest success during distance learning and what was your greatest challenge?...

Teacher PROfile: Keeping rigor and motivation high from a distance wasn’t easy, but these teachers made it work

We met virtually with two Edwin Markham Middle School teachers — Jamie Schnablegger, English Language Arts (ELA) Team Lead, 6th grade ELA and History Teacher, and 7th and 8th grade Leadership Teacher; and Wendy Vanegas, 6th grade Math & Science Teacher and Peer Coach — to learn more about their distance teaching experiences.  Wendy and...

Student Spotlight: Student mentors make a difference with students who are new to this country

Recently we sat down with two seniors from Santee Education Complex: Denise Calderon and Emerson Majano. They are peer mentors to younger students as part of a peer mentorship program spearheaded by Dr. Claudia Cataldo (Teacher PROfile). Here they share the impact the program has had on their lives.  L to R: Denise, Dr. Cataldo,...

Teacher PROfile: Dr. Cataldo ensures international students receive the support they need to thrive in school and beyond

We spoke at length with Dr. Claudia Cataldo, English teacher, Academic Decathlon Coach, and Falcon Feminists and Gay Straight Alliance Faculty Advisor at Santee Education Complex, about the importance of supporting incoming international students on campus. Learn how the need for support at Santee evolved into a mentorship program. Dr. Cataldo is personally invested in...