Charter teacher reflects on campus 15-year anniversary

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Charter teacher reflects on campus 15-year anniversary

Vanessa Nunez, Reporter

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Rhonda Christman, anatomy teacher

Do you think the school has changed a lot since it opened? The first year we only had freshmen. Each year we added a grade so by the fourth year we had all four classes. All of the buildings were in use, but there were only three science classrooms being used. There were very few in the hallway; it was a lot quieter.

What made you decide to teach at Vista? I was offered the opportunity, and it seemed like a good opportunity. It also seemed like a good idea at the time.

 How does it feel to be one of the original teachers at Vista? It’s getting to be a little scary. I feel like we’re an endangered species, but you expect people to move on and find other things to do.

Has your class changed much over the years? I haven’t changed rooms since the school opened. I clear out cabinets and get rid of old books to have kind of a fresh start every year.

What keeps you wanting to stay at Vista? I’m still enjoying it, and I can’t think of anywhere else I want to go.

What was it like opening the school? It was a lot of work as we got into what we wanted to teach. Also when you have only one class, that freshman class didn’t have upperclassmen to look up to. They made some interesting types of mistakes. But they also got to decide how things were going to be. They had freedom but at the same time, they weren’t sure what to do.

What do you like about the school? I like the fact that if you want to try something new you can, and people are really open to different ideas. As far as trying this and seeing how it works. They’re open to change.

What is the biggest change you’ve noticed at Vista? Ranger Time was kind of a rough adjustment. It was one of those things where it kept changing every year. This year is a little bit better than last year. When we first started, it was on certain days, and the times were different. The portal system wasn’t around yet. It was a little shorter.

What’s one of your best moments or memories you’ve had? I think in general when I get emails from students about what they’re doing in college. Or when past students say, ‘Hey, this really helped. I’m really glad I did it.’ Things like that — hearing back from students who’ve gone on and been successful. Knowing that they have been successful after leaving us because that’s what we’re aiming for.

 

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