Hanging up her purple and gold, Spanish teacher Lorena Piña will not return to Diamond Bar High School next month.
Leaving DBHS was an abrupt change for Pina–she didn’t tell the faculty and students until late June.
“Honestly, I don’t like goodbyes. I get too emotional and I would rather say ‘Nos vemos luego [See you later],’” Pina said. “Also I wasn’t sure if I was going to get a job closer to home or not, so I didn’t want to say anything until then.”
Pina worked at DBHS for 16 years, teaching Spanish I, III and II Honors. She will continue her teaching career at Centennial High School, her alma mater, in Compton.
“I want to be closer to my mom and stop driving one hour and thirty minutes one way, every day. That way, I spend less time sitting in traffic,” Pina said.
Although she will miss the relationships and connections she formed at DBHS, Pina will still hold onto the memories. From listening to her students sing along to Spanish songs to taking 20 students to Spain over spring break a few years ago, Pina has had many experiences that she says she will cherish.
“I’m going to miss everyone. The visits of former students before and after school or during lunch, the conversations with my students and my colleagues, everyone. DBHS was a second home,” Pina said.
In addition to teaching, Pina has served as an advisor for the class of 2008 as well as for Link Crew from 2013 to 2015.
“I loved making connections with current events, history, daily life, and [my students’] experiences [in the classroom]. That way we get to know each other better and create a better environment,” she said.
Pina has formed a strong bond with many students at DBHS. She has built these relationships through the language she cherishes, and hopes to pass on her wisdom to her past students and those who never got the chance to meet her.
“Be proud of your ‘fantásticos’ and remember that a grade doesn’t define you. Your actions and how you treat yourself and others does. Keep smiling and moving forward, don’t get stuck, there’s always a way or solution,” Pina said.