Meet the new staff: New year brings new faces to DPMHS

Itzel Luna

As the school year begins, many changes occurred in Daniel Pearl Magnet High School’s previous unfluctuating staff as new teachers and a new magnet coordinator started their first year at DPMHS.

After working as a magnet coordinator at DPMHS for seven years, Nicole Bootel was promoted and will now oversee special-ed programs for several elementary schools as an assistant principal. Leah Pevar has been hired to replace Bootel. Pevar previously worked as a ninth grade English teacher for three years at DPMHS.

“I know all the classroom stuff,” Pevar said. “The in’s and out’s, all of that. This is the other half of that. It’s like learning all of the behind the scenes work.”

Many teachers have also left the school, including math teachers Anna Felix and Daniel Cramer and social science teacher Brent Abelson.

The new additions to the staff this year includes math teacher Lori Seo, social science teacher Francisco Ortega, Spanish teacher Marta Rodriguez and new nurse Cari Philpott. Philpott  will work at DPMHS every Tuesday. Trigonometry professor Syuzanna Aghazaryan also teaches a Los Angeles Valley College math class on campus to students in one of two Pre-Calculus classes offered at DPMHS.  The open spot for a new ninth grade English teacher still hasn’t been filled. 

After being the only Spanish teacher at DPMHS since 2009, Glenda Hurtado is unsure of how long the new Spanish position will be open. The school hired a new Spanish teacher Magaly Orejarena in 2016 but the position was eliminated the following year because of the lack of enrollment.

“I didn’t want to get happy about it,” Hurtado said. “I said ‘yeah okay that’s what we need to do’ but not necessarily excitement. I’m hoping that Ms. Rodriguez remains and that we keep our enrollment and are able to continue to provide students with new teaching methods.”

Sophomore Maria Strake who has both Seo and Ortega as teachers this year believes that they are having a smooth and nice transition.

“It’s been good because everyone is really welcoming,” Strake said. “They’re handling things really well.”