Pacifica Welcomes 2019/2020 New Staff and New Positions

Jim Knight
Changes come every year, and 2019 introduces the largest and most dynamic staff roster in Pacifica's 15 years educating students to Think and Live Well. 
PACIFICA WELCOMES NEW STAFF AND ANNOUNCES CHANGING ROLES
 
As we begin a new school year, with increasing enrollment and waiting lists in the 9th and 10th grade, I am pleased to introduce our new staff and share with you some exciting changes.
 
Academic Office
Our outstanding counselor Wally Hirsch will move to the Director of Counseling.  He will run the counseling office and continue to oversee a caseload of students.  His team will be expanding as we have brought on Esther Kim to serve as the new Academic Operations Manager.  Esther will ensure that the “trains run on time” in all things academic.  Joining Esther and Wally will be our new counselor Molly Jang.  Jenna Rice has come on to lead the charge in college counseling. This exciting, experienced and dynamic team is hard at work and ready to serve our students and families.
 
Andrew Soria will take on the role of Director of Digital Learning.  He will oversee our online program and provide educational technology training to our faculty.
 
To provide leadership and support to our faculty Clara Hamilton will serve in an expanded role as Director of Faculty.   Both Clara and Wally will join myself and our Associate Head of School for Advancement, Michael Balsley, on the school’s executive leadership team.  The executive team is responsible for providing leadership and guidance for all that happens at Pacifica.
 
The executive leadership team will work closely with the newly formed Academic Senate to help make decisions for the academic wing of the school and to work on key academic initiatives.  The Academic Senate will be composed of Dr. David Sumida, Scott Comer, Susan Springer Anderson, Matt Benedetto and Alex Earl.
 
Operations Office
Congratulations to Jessica Lewis who will move from her role as the school’s business officer to the Director of Finance & Operations.  She will work with Matt Mulligan who will move from the campus supervisor to Facilities and Operations Manager. 
 
Faculty
Enrollment growth and faculty transition has allowed us to bring on new staff and increase staff roles.  I am pleased to announce the Regina Hoffman, our beloved film teacher, will come on full-time at Pacifica.  She will continue to lead the film program and will also assume leadership of the Minchin Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Kevin Kirchner.
 
Debbie Hudson an experienced math teacher will teach Geometry, Algebra II and AP Statistics.
 
Katie Savage, who took on a part-time role in English last fall, will continue teaching two sections of Honors 10 English, and we are pleased to properly introduce her as part of our staff. Kristen Burnette will lead the way in freshman English and AP Language and Composition, while Dan Freeborn will take on English 10, New Testament, and World History.  Alumnus Rebecca Melendez will teach Spanish part-time.
 
The additions in Humanities will lesson the load on our current staff, reduce class sizes and help us prepare for future growth.
 
As the school grows so does the arts program.  Melissa Beck will come on to teach one section of Mixed Media.  This will reduce the teaching load of Mr. Anderson allowing her to spend time in her role as the Director of the Arts.  Jade Robertson will lead our two exciting dance classes, and Tehillah Alphonso will teach our new A Capella team during Axios Period all year long. Welcome new PACARTS staff!. 
 

I am excited about the Pacifica community, the student body, the parents and the staff.  They have several things in common – they are after what is good, true and beautiful – they resonate with the mission of the school, and they are keen on building strong lives of meaning and purpose and not just an impressive resume. 
 
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Pacifica Christian High School

A college-preparatory, Christian, liberal arts high school in the heart of Santa Monica.