The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

Fresh faces on the Hill: their journeys and goals

This academic year, Flintridge Sacred Heart welcomed seven additions to its faculty, including six new teachers and a new Assistant Principal of Student Affairs. 

Joining us on the Hill this year are Ms. Joo Eun Lee, Algebra I and Honors Geometry teacher; Mr. Linh Tran, honors and regular Chemistry teacher; Ms. Isabel Gutierrez, Physical Education and Health teacher; Ms. Shea Harvey, history teacher; Dr. Karla Callejas, Research Program Conductor and social studies teacher and Ms. Boyoung Kim, Assistant Principal of Student Affairs. 

At the beginning of the school year, Ms. Kim emphasizes that believing in ourselves and in God is something all Tologs should embrace when facing changes.

I think my main goal in terms of students would be to listen to the voice of God, who calls us to do something that we don’t know yet,” Ms. Kim said. “There’s a lot of noise in our world where society tells us to be a certain way or how to dress or what it means to be a good student, in terms of grades, GPA, college [or] beauty standards.”

Ms. Kim practices what she preaches by trusting in herself and the process that led her to the Flintridge Sacred Heart community, guided by her faith in God.

“This opportunity presented itself where I was invited to consider [working at FSH] and come interview, and I thought, ‘Okay God, you’re calling me to something different but it is familiar, so let’s see how this goes.’ It was a big risk but I took it, came, interviewed and really fell in love with Flintridge Sacred Heart’s campus, the students and the Dominican pillars,” Ms. Kim said. 

Ms. Lee had experience working with younger students before she made the decision to work with teenagers at Flintridge Sacred Heart.

“I went to UCLA for mathematics for teaching … but then there weren’t many jobs available back then, so I went into mortgage business instead. During that time, I wanted to pursue my dream as a teacher because I had a good mentor in my life, so he encouraged me to get my master’s. So instead of credentials, I went to get a Master’s in Mathematics at Cal State LA,” Ms. Lee said. 

Her main aspiration for students is to help them develop a genuine love for math, even if it is not their favorite subject.

“I know math is not a popular subject but I said when I first started class this semester that I want to make this a favorite subject for… at least one of [my students]. I mostly teach freshmen and I wanted to make sure that the transition between middle school and high school is as smooth as possible and build a good foundation,” Ms. Lee said. 

Ms. Harvey’s inspiration for teaching history stemmed from her experience as a Flintridge Sacred Heart student in 2010. She found herself back on the Hill 13 years later, sharing her inspiration with students. 

“I fell in love with history while I was here [with] Mr. Thorton in his gov/econ class, studied it in college, and then once I graduated, was feeling very unfulfilled with my job in digital marketing and I was like ‘What can I do that I am actually passionate about?’ That’s when I fell into teaching and substitute teaching first, and then history just felt like the natural course because I studied political science in college,” Ms. Harvey said. 

Ms. Harvey has gained valuable insights during her time on the Hill, and she aspires to impart the same influence on her own students.

 “My favorite teacher when I was here was Ms. Miller. I had her for Chem and math … those are my two weakest subjects but she was still my favorite teacher,” Ms. Harvey said. 

Her experiences with Miller has shaped her current goal of nurturing a space where students can feel comfortable, safe and inspired to engage with the material, even if it’s not their strong suit.

Every Tolog understands that a well-rounded education encompasses not only our minds but our bodies as well. Ms. Gutierrez, the Physical Education and Health teacher, creates a supportive environment for her students, motivating them to take charge of their physical well-being.

“My mission is to inspire and empower the girls to embrace lifelong healthy habits. Through sports and fitness exercises, I want to equip them with the values, knowledge, and skills to become independent, strong and healthy women,” Ms. Gutierrez said. 

Ms. Gutierrez embodies the concept of staying fit, both in her life outside the classroom and when she’s abroad.

One of the most remarkable experiences in my life was completing the world’s toughest half ironman in 2022,” Ms. Gutierrez said. “I worked as a personal trainer in Spain, helping individuals achieve their fitness goals and realize dreams like running their first 5K or 10K races. What makes it even more extraordinary is that I convinced two of my best friends to join me in this epic journey.”

Mr. Tran, the honors and regular Chemistry teacher, acknowledges the subject’s difficulty and hopes to boost students’ confidence and skills during their sophomore year.

“One of my main goals is to build the students’ confidence in the lab setting as well as chemistry, improve their sense of science and lastly understand all the chemistry concepts,” Mr. Tran said. 

Mr. Tran believes that his strong chemistry skills will allow him to serve as a supportive mentor to his students.

“I like the vibe of FSHA,” said Mr. Tran. “I like the vibe and I feel like with my skill set … I can be a part of the school and it’s the right environment for me as a chemistry teacher.” 

Returning social studies teacher Dr. Callejas looks back on her experiences on the Hill and considers the concept of veritas to be a cornerstone of her personal life.

“I really do feel that the Dominican sisters helped form me as an educator,” Dr. Callejas said. “In all my classes I am guided by veritas and the idea that we will find our truth together through collaboration, discussion and study. For that reason, Flintridge Sacred Heart was an obvious choice for me,” Dr. Callejas said. 

Ms. Kim respects Dr. Callejas’ steadfast commitment to the pursuit of truth.

“I love this pursuit of veritas,” said Ms. Kim. “That’s something that really motivates me in our society today. I am really glad that God called me. I also humbly know that I have a lot to learn and alot to grow but I am really excited.”

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About the Contributor
Maria Boutros, Social Media Manager
Maria Boutros is the social media manager for the Veritas Shield and a senior on The Hill this year. She started working for the paper her junior year and has loved being a part of the paper and posting fun and interactive instagram stories. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and going to Malibu for shopping and tanning. Overall, she is excited to be working on the Shield for her last year.

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