New teacher on the block

Going to a new high school is just as challenging for a teacher as it is a student.


Amanda Zou

New SMCHS teacher, Ms. Vanni, smiles for a picture in between teaching environmental science and biology.

Towards the end of 2016, science teacher Cristal Miller ended her teaching career at SMCHS, leaving the faculty and administration in need of a new Environmental Science, Biology and Chemistry teacher for the students.

Luckily, Megan Vanni stepped up to the challenge and met all the criteria the faculty wanted in their new teacher when she applied to be a teacher at SMCHS.

She completed her single subject credential in science education this past December, which makes this her first full time teaching job. Additionally, she has experience from student teaching for the past year while getting her secondary teaching credential.

Vanni moved from teaching Biology and Earth Science in Chico, California all the way to Biology and Environmental Science in the home of the Eagles this year.

From the first time Vanni stepped on campus, she felt the loving community that is SMCHS.

“Everyone I’ve met, including the students, has been really gracious and welcoming,” Vanni said. “It has made my mid-year transition a lot easier.”

While the faculty had a lot of requirements for Vanni to teach at SMCHS, she had some things she wanted from her new job as well.

“I knew I wanted to be a part of a collaborative group of teachers and the science department is really great at that here,” Vanni said.

Although the community of students and teachers has helped Vanni make this smooth transition, there are challenging aspects of high school that no one can avoid. Mainly, Vanni found the block schedule to be difficult.

“I had to write everything down on my hand so I could easily figure out where I was supposed to be,” Vanni said. “I think I have the hang of it now and have even grown to like it.”

While it’s never easy to start something new, Vanni has successfully filled the role that Miller left and has proven her teaching skills.

“It seems like she adjusted really well to SMCHS,” said junior McKenna Sulick. “I can tell she is really hardworking because she is always prepared and knows what she’s doing.”

Students in any class may struggle adjusting to a new teacher halfway through the year. But with Vanni, the transition has been smooth and simple to get used to.

“I like her teaching style since it’s really interactive because she relates the topics we’re learning to real world issues,” said senior Kelly Gardner.

While Vanni faced large shoes to fill as the new SMCHS science teacher, she has already adjusted to her new position.