A New Addition to the Spanish Department


Photo by Oriana Yanes

Spanish one teacher, Oriana Yanes, on a hike outdoors. She enjoyed being outside during the COVID-19 lockdown.

This year, Monte Vista would like to give a warm welcome to a new Spanish I teacher, who transferred from Diablo Vista Middle School.

     Oriana Yanes is a Monte Vista graduate, the daughter of another Spanish teacher at Monte Vista, and taught at Diablo Vista for four years. Yanes has enjoyed the transition from middle school to high school.

     “It’s really nice. I like to call it a mini university compared to middle school level,” Yanes said. “In middle school you take [Spanish] in a certain grade, whereas here I have everyone from … eighth, ninth, tenth, [and] eleventh [grade], so it’s really fun to interact with all the grade levels in one single period.”

     Her mother, Soraya Estevez, is another member of the Spanish department at Monte Vista. She has been teaching for over 20 years, and was even Yanes’s teacher. Seeing her teach inspired Yanes’s own career.

     “She was my teacher for a couple years, so it was always in the back of my head,” Yanes said.  “I took a different route [when] I went to college, and then I realized, y’know, this teaching thing might be for me.”

     Yanes enjoys working with her mother, even though it is an uncommon experience.

     “I think we’re the only ones. There’s been some [teachers] that are like, ‘my mom taught here,’ but not at the same time … and you know, we eat lunch together every day,” Yanes said. 

     At Diablo Vista, Yanes also taught leadership. Although she’s new to the school, she is already the advisor for a club at Monte Vista. 

     “I just got asked to be an advisor for the Content Creation club…[by] a DV (Diablo Vista) student that I had,” Yanes said. “I’m excited to do that … I’m all about spirit days. I taught leadership at DV, so I have very strong leadership skills.”

     Steve Chung, the founder of the Content Creation club and a junior, was in Yanes’s class in 7th grade and is now in Estevez’s class. 

     “I mentioned that I was in Honors Spanish and she was like, ‘Oh … so my mom’s teaching you,’ and I was confused because I didn’t realize that [Estevez] was her mom,” Chung said. “[Yanes is] a teacher that loves teaching, she loves helping her students.”

     Students are fond of Yanes because of her kind and personable demeanor. 

“She is a really caring person, someone that you could definitely talk to,” Chung said. 

     Outside of school, Yanes loves to cook and bake, as she taught Foods at Diablo Vista. She also likes to be outdoors, which she did a lot during the COVID-19 lockdown. She’s happy to be back at Monte Vista.

     “It’s been great, the department is great, working with my mom [is great], so no complaints,” Yanes said.