There have been many staff changes since the 2018-19 school year ended, and now there is one more as Diamond Bar High School Spanish teacher Marco Leal will be leaving his students sometime during the school year.
Leal said he will be leaving to become the new assistant principal at Grenada Middle School in Whittier. He said that working in administration has always been a goal of his.
In his new job, he will be in charge of discipline, teacher evaluations, campus safety, meetings with parents and staff members and many other administrative tasks. Instead of teaching students how to speak Spanish on a daily basis, Leal will be working more closely with the staff.
“I believe I’ll still have a connection with the students; it’s just going to be at a different level where I hope to have an impact by helping teachers with either the curriculum or addressing student needs,” Leal said.
Although he is ready to take on his new job, there are some challenges that Leal will face with his switch from a high school environment to a middle school one. He will have to work with sixth graders who have just come from elementary school and eighth graders who are getting ready to enter high school.
“Working with the differences, just among those age groups, I feel could be a challenge, but it’s something that I’m looking forward to and willing to embrace,” Leal said.
Leal has taught for 13 years as a Spanish teacher at DBHS. He said he will miss all of the teachers he has met along the way, his students, his classroom, and the camaraderie between the staff and students. As a foreign language teacher, Leal will also miss teaching his students about the Spanish culture and language every day.
“I loved every minute of teaching because I feel teaching a foreign language I have some liberty in incorporating culture and different traditions, music and food throughout different lessons,” Leal said.
The Spanish teacher was also the adviser for Spanish Club and Hope Club, where he had the opportunity to see the students’ creative abilities and how they act outside of a classroom. Leal also coached the freshman basketball team and the JV football team a few years ago. There, he said he saw a different side of the students’ personalities and was able to help them understand what teamwork means.
Even though Leal will miss teaching, he is excited for his new role in administration. His first goal is to learn about the community, the students and staff. Leal hopes to one day become a principal and learn more about the ins and outs of educational administration.
(UPDATE: Leal taught his last class on Oct. 10 and his last day on campus was Oct. 11. Ms. Rosas will serve as his replacement.)
“I think what most excites me is it’s a new opportunity and there are potentially new challenges, but it’s something that I feel I’ve prepared myself for with the experiences here at Diamond Bar and through my education,” Leal said.