Celebrate our Teachers

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May 7, 2024

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! At High Five Access Media, we’re honored to work with some of the valley’s dedicated educators on bringing media studies to their classrooms. We’d like to highlight some of the people who make our school-based educational opportunities so rewarding for our students and staff alike.

Joby Linet - Eagle Valley High School

What subjects do you teach?
I teach journalism, digital media, yearbook and English.

How many years have you been teaching?
It's my first year teaching in the US as a Media Studies Teacher. My first teaching experience was as an English teacher in France.

How and why did you become a teacher?
After completing my Master of Journalism, I came to the realization that working in the press industry wasn't my calling and didn't quite align with my interests. Consequently, I made the decision to explore education, and that led me to apply as an English teacher to substitute for a teacher. It was during this experience that I developed a deep affection for my students and felt a sense of belonging. I became a teacher because I love making a difference and watching the new generation grow. Being a part of this journey and helping them become the best version of themselves is incredibly fulfilling. Spreading my experiences and passion for my subjects is a bonus that means a lot to me. School has always been a safe place for me as a student, where I loved to learn. I want to pass on this passion for education and make it the best adventure possible for the student community. 

What is your favorite concept or lesson to share with your students?
I particularly enjoy giving lessons on editing because it's when things click for the students. They learn how challenging it can be, but once they dive into it, they become passionate. Most importantly, they're proud of their work and love to showcase it. Editing is a process that turns you into a content creator and keeps you focused; it never gets boring!

What do you like to do for fun?
For fun, I love spending time with Mother Nature. Whether it's through outdoor activities like skiing or hiking, or simply listening to and feeling the environment, I enjoy capturing moments through photos and videos to share. I also love to sing, draw, and play music.

Dave Hanson - Red Canyon High School

What subjects do you teach?
I teach English, Construction Trades, and PE.

How many years have you been teaching?
This is my 5th year.

How and why did you become a teacher?
To make a difference in the lives of young people.

What is your favorite concept or lesson to share with your students?
The concept of any and all information as Text (with a capital T).

What do you like to do for fun?
All the mountain recreation we have around here.

Katie Brandl - Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy

What subjects do you teach?
9th grade English, AP Literature and Composition, AP Language and Composition 

How many years have you been teaching?
11 years at VSSA, 15 altogether.

What is your favorite concept or lesson to share with your students?
Favorite concept would probably be to always look at context of literature and information... to look at literature in the context of history as a statement about the culture at the time. It can greatly change the meaning of a work.

What do you like to do for fun?
Play with my own two young kids and see their smiles and laughs. 

Tsvetelina Fuentes - Battle Mountain High School

What subject(s) do you teach?
I am a Career Exploration Assistant. I have taught Spanish and English for second language learners (English Language Development - ELD).

How many years have you been teaching? 
I have been in ECSD for 14+ years in different roles - registrar, office manager, Spanish Teacher, ELD Teacher, 3rd grade teacher and now Career Exploration.

How and why did you become a teacher?
I actually became a teacher thanks to alternative licensing, my original degree is in International Relations so I like to participate in Equity and Diversity clubs or activities like Youth Equity Stewardship. I enjoy teaching  because it is very inspiring when the students create using the knowledge and it is very unique to who they are and I get to learn from them too!

What is your favorite concept or lesson to share with your students?
My favorite concept to share with students is that your best goals come from your values and skills, so know who you are and keep improving your skills and acquiring new ones.

What do you like to do for fun?
I like to be in nature, go for hikes and practice yoga.

Ellen Sirico - Eagle Valley High School

What subject do you teach?
I work in the Postsecondary Learning and Career Readiness Department within Eagle County School District and I am in the 4th year in the role. With this department, my teammates and I help students figure out next steps after graduation. "Next steps" look different for everyone - it can be straight into the workforce, trade school, military, 2 year college, or 4 year college/university. 

Why did you come into this role?
I came into this role after working in the front office of Eagle Valley Middle School. Helping students figure out their next steps is rewarding for the entire team and we all feel so fortunate to be a part of this department. 

What is your favorite concept to share with students?
I think my favorite thing to share is, "try it!" Try a job shadow, an experience, meet a business, etc - try something new and see if it is something you enjoy. I have had students who thought they 100% wanted to be in a particular career and then decide they did not like it. To our department that is a win and a huge success!  

What do you do for fun?
I really like to do all the things that make Eagle County great - hiking, paddleboarding, nordic skiing. But, my all time favorite thing to do is spend time with my family.