Inside the Heart of The Mustang: Yorba Linda’s First Year Teachers


Courtesy of @ylmustangmarket on Instagram

The teachers here at YL are the backbone to the school, the ones who pave the way for each student to succeed.

Gabby McCutchan, Editor

For the ten years that Yorba Linda High School has opened its doors, waves of staff, most importantly teachers, have come and gone as the years have progressed. However, there are certain teachers in which have experienced and/or witnessed the developments and evolutions that Yorba High has gone under within the past decade from the very beginning. A few of the original teachers from YLHS that still work and educate today were willing to participate in answering a few questions in regards to their time here at Yorba Linda.


1. What was the most compelling reason for you to transfer to Yorba Linda High School?

Mr. Stine (Staff) explains his reasoning, “It was an opportunity for me to become the department chair of Special Education and to start a new special education program in the district that would allow for SPED students to be fully mainstreamed in the general education setting, which is called the collaboration program. That along with the opportunity to start a new baseball program.”  

Mr. Bailey (Staff) replied, “I had only more opportunity to start up a new program in my career and make it the way I want to run a program. And it was extremely exciting to have an on campus stadium, where I did not have to take a bus to a home game.”


2. What made you decide to teach high school?

Mr. Eliot (Staff), illustrates his narrative by saying “I was originally a middle school teacher, and I loved it. When my middle school principal moved to El Dorado, she asked me to come with her. She said, ‘the ship doesn’t come into port very often, so if you have interest in jumping on, you should jump on now!’ I took her advice. I am happy I moved to high school, since the students are wonderful. But I do have a small bit of me that misses the middle school kids as well if I’m honest.”


3. How would you compare the school spirit here at YLHS in comparison to other high schools?

Mr. Lejano (Staff) says, “I think that our programs at YLHS that promote school spirit are phenomenal. ASB, PTSA, our arts programs, and booster programs are incredible. They do such a great job in creating opportunities to enhance school spirit. How much the students and staff buy in and contribute to that- that is the X factor.”

Mr. Hendry (Staff) further explains that “at Esperanza there was twice as many students and teachers. There was a disconnect due to the scale of the school that we just don’t have here. We are a tighter unit and I love that.”


4. What were some of the original struggles you had while teaching at YLHS?

Mrs. Luxa (Staff), illustrates that “My biggest struggle was the first year teaching chemistry in a room with no lab tables and no running water. We did our clean up from activities in plastic tubs of soapy water. It was a struggle back then but looking back I can remember how we all (my students and I) enjoyed ourselves. We were just happy to be in a new school.”

Mr. Lejano (Staff), “Until we had a full staff in year three, each staff member had to take on so much more than we imagined. I was teaching AP Euro for the first time; starting a girls tennis program and a boys tennis program from scratch, and a faculty advisor for five clubs. But through it all, nobody felt right complaining because all of your co-workers were working every bit as hard or more. We just put our head down and did our jobs to the best of our ability without complaining. It was tough but amazing to think about how much good came from that journey.”


5. How would you compare your high school experience to the students nowadays?

Mr. Bloom (Staff) simply but effectively puts it: “I feel like our students now have much more opportunity and options if they want to take advantage of them.”

Mrs. Luxa (Staff), focuses on some of the main differences between the generation of teenagers during her time as a high schooler and the present generation, “I feel that high school has changed a lot since I was there. We did not have cell phones, social media and all the technology that is around today. When I had to write a research paper I had to go to the library or use my parents’ set of encyclopedias. Today, students can do homework and research from the palm of their hands using cell phones.”