The start of a new school year always brings new students, new classes and new materials, but this year also brought eight new faculty to Diamond Bar High School.
The newcomers include teachers, a long-term substitute and the new dean for Mathematics, Physical Education and Health. Many of the new staff are here to fill the empty shoes of retirees and those who left staff for different districts.
Rosa Romero, Stacy Kruger and Iliana Escobar joined the faculty after both Katie Swetnam—who taught Spanish and coached volleyball at DBHS for three years—and Lorena Piña quit to work at school districts closer to their homes. Although she decided to teach at another district, Swetnam said it was tough for her to leave.
“I was so sad and torn up about the idea of leaving DBHS,” Swetnam said via Messenger. “I do love my students, and I hate that I didn’t get to say goodbye to them.”
She now teaches Spanish and coaches boys volleyball at Los Alamitos High School.
This year, Romero and Kruger are both teaching Spanish I and II, while Escobar is teaching Spanish I and III.
This year will be Romero’s first year teaching. She said that one of her goals is to learn from the veteran teachers in the Spanish department.
“I’m already so impressed with the vibe here at Diamond Bar High School,” Romero said. “The team spirit had me really impressed with how proud the students here at Diamond Bar are to be part of this amazing school.”
Romero was inspired in part to teach Spanish by her family, some of whom are teachers, and by her passion for Spanish literature.
She attended Cal Poly Pomona and earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish as well as her teaching credentials.
New AP computer science teacher Victor Lu joined staff after Luke Shubin left. Previously, Lu taught math at Suzanne Middle School.
Joining the theater department is new stagecraft teacher Jenna Riley.
She attended California State University Fullerton before becoming adjunct faculty at Cyprus College, where she taught a production class.
After that, she worked as theater manager for Century High School in Santa Ana.
“There’s a lot of things I want to achieve. I want the students to enjoy the class they’re in and actually learn,” Riley said. “I [also] want the stage crew, when they compete at the [Fullerton College High School Theater] Festival, to place in first.”
Temporarily taking the place of USB activities director Janna Van Horn while she is on maternity leave is Pedro Paz, who will be her long-term substitute.
There is also one new addition to staff in the athletics department: Jeffrey Reitz. Though he is better known as the football coach, he is also teaching kinesiology.
The new dean of Mathematics, Physical Education and Health is Denise Loera, who attended Cal State Los Angeles and UCLA.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in pure mathematics and her master’s degree in educational leadership.