By Tierra Johnson
On the first day of school, Aug. 13, 2018, Jennifer Howard, a teacher at Oakland High, took on the role of running the Leadership class that was previously run by another teacher. Instead of letting it fall, Howard wanted to make it grow more.
Howard is an English teacher, and a summer school teacher, and is currently in the Public Health Academy at Oakland High (PHA). Her last period of the day is Leadership.
“Howard has big shoes to fill,” said Tatiana Newman-Wade, a staff coordinator at Oakland High who focuses on finding internships for students. “But she’s doing an amazing job already.”
Of course, wouldn’t anyone get nervous taking on such a huge challenge? Tons of teacher positions at Oakland High have been filled with teachers who are not only new to Oakland High, but to previous staff as well.
And as the year progresses, not only students, but staff can see how Ms. Howard has really made an impact on the school academically and mentally, seeing how many students genuinely enjoy having her.
Ziada Keflezighi, another staff coordinator at Oakland High, who focuses on helping students with school work and scholarships, says that having new teachers, and a new program director is “a great change for Oakland High.”
Although there are many people interested in being part of the Leadership class at Oakland High, other believe that this year’s class has brought in even more students.
“It seems like there are more students involved who weren’t interested in it before,” said Newman-Wade.
Jeremiah Allen, a junior who is also in Leadership, said he joined the class because of “the fact that some of my friends last year were also in the class,” and because it seemed like an interesting class.
With Howard and students from Leadership running Oakland High’s events this year, such as the activity fair that was overflowing with students, friendly expectations, and outcomes from multiple advisors are sure to rise as well, said Allen.
Newman-Wade suggested having, “the whole student population feel included.” Keflezighi thought that maybe the Leadership class could, “better represent the diversity of the school,” and that, “all students would feel comfortable sharing their opinions in Leadership, and hopefully would be open to feedback from others.”
Students and staff are excited to see how this year’s Leadership class will turn out and how much an event can show all of the hard work that students from Leadership put into coming up with, and planning out the event.
“It’s fun.” said Howard. “It’s a big lively class.”