The secret ingredient to Monte Vista’s success


La Vista

Jennifer Hall (left) and her friend Annette Adolphson (right) pose for a picture during a rally at Monte Vista High School. The two of them graduated at Monte Vista in 1984.

Lauryn Leong, Staff Writer

Founded in 1965, Monte Vista has become a distinguished school known for its excellent academic and extracurricular programs. But what made all of this possible?
The main reason is the staff. When it comes to hiring school staff, Monte Vista wants the best of the best. I mean, how could Monte Vista become so successful without an intelligent group of staff members?
So, how does the hiring process at Monte Vista work?
The process of hiring teachers takes two steps. First, the school receives recommendation letters from potential candidates. After that, they do a reference check through other sources to make sure that the candidate is qualified. HR (Human Resources) then looks into further notes and contacts the sources if they need more clarification.
Doctor Kevin Ahern, the principal at Monte Vista, explains the process of hiring teachers.
“We actually recommend applicants, not hire them,” Ahern said, “Our recommendations go through HR (Human Resources) and they decide whether or not the applicants are adequate,”
Teachers come from all sort of backgrounds, and shockingly, a lot of teachers at Monte Vista were actually previous Monte Vista graduates. As a student, it’s normal to just go to class and move on throughout your day. However, do we consider why Monte Vista alumni come back to their former school? To answer your question, we don’t. But we miss out on a beautiful thing going on as all of these alumni teachers have one common goal, which is community.
Shelley Cummins, a social studies teacher at Monte Vista, expresses her opinion about the fact that so many MV alumni are teachers here.
“There’s value in being an alumni because your heart is already here,” Cummins said.
Nicole Correa, a resource teacher at Monte Vista, also shares her thoughts about the goal that Monte Vista alumni pursue to achieve.
“I think they like former graduates because we are familiar with the campus, culture, and community,” Correa said.
There are many benefits that Monte Vista alumni teachers give to the school that we don’t even recognize. Ever wondered why some teachers are more approachable than others? It’s because they’ve been through the same experiences as many students are going through today.
Melissa Trisko, a social studies teacher at Monte Vista, gives her thoughts about the uniqueness of Monte Vista students.
“There are so many different elements that make up an MV students and I think that that is why Monte Vista likes to hire alumni,” Trisko said, “They know who the students are because they were the students and that makes them uniquely capable of relating to kids that walk through their door each day.”
“I think students come back here because they want to give back to their community and make a difference in Danville,” Ahern said, “…it keeps Monte Vista as a high-quality school and creates a sense of belief and trust in the community,”
In the late twentieth century, Danville was a small community, but it has grown significantly within the past 50 years. Since most Monte Vista students have been raised in Danville, it can be hard for non-alumni teachers to connect with the students. But with the help of MV alumni, teacher-student relationships at Monte Vista form easily, making the school feel similar to a family.
Jennifer Hall, a math teacher at Monte Vista, states her position on this thought.
“By hiring former students who grew up in this area, you automatically have a teacher who is familiar with the school’s climate and culture,” Hall said.
Monte Vista is a diverse campus, which creates unique ways for students to express themselves. With a variety of extracurriculars and academic programs, every student can find their voice while also seeking their passions. Therefore, Trisko believes that students being able to express themselves plays a major part of the Monte Vista experience.
“We have such an amazing school that offers a crazy diverse amount of opportunities that, as a teacher, can be hard to appreciate without having lived it first hand,” Trisko said.