Joe McCarty is among the four new staff members and will be serving as a history teacher for CHS.
McCarty is originally from Chadron, Nebraska, and was a history teacher there at a small high school. Although CHS will be a change from his previous school, he is ecstatic about being here.
“I’m excited about finding out what CHS is all about and am looking forward to what the year has to hold,” McCarty says.
Although McCarty currently teaches U.S. History, his degree was in Russian and European history with his original intention being a college level history professor.
Incorporated into his fascination for history is his love for travel. After finishing graduate school, McCarty spent a year living in Prague and also got to experience its culture firsthand.
“I really wanted to have traveling experience before settling down for a career,” McCarty explains.
Since then, he has incorporated traveling into his work by teaching English in Siberia over the summer and taking his students to Europe to instill a love for travel within them.
”I’m so excited to meet all the [CHS] students,” McCarty says. “I’m also helping out with the mock trial team as well, and when you are a coach you tend to build different relationships with the students.”
First-year CHS drama teacher Gracie Poletti is prepared to educate and enhance students’ interest and passion in acting.
Originally from Los Gatos, she attended the Los Angeles Theater College, where she was cast into a professional play, and that is when her career really started. In addition to film, television, stand-up comedy and commercials, Poletti often does voice acting for film and television. Her most well-known position is doing zombie voices for AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
Alongside her own acting career, Poletti has also taught acting in both private lessons and at the Pacific Repertory for the Dramatic Arts as well as smaller day schools in the area. Now at CHS, she is excited to continue teaching her passion.
“So far it’s been really great working with kids, and I am really excited to continue working with them because I really think I can make a difference, especially for those who want to be professional actors,” Poletti says.
The instructor adds that acting teaches one important lessons, whether taken to the length of a career or just as a fun hobby.
“Theater and acting is such a great background, and even if you don’t go into acting professionally, it’s helpful in any career you chose because it teaches you how to present yourself and to know who you are.” Poletti adds, “It teaches you really good life skills.”
New CHS physics teacher Steve Nixon is passionate about his subject and is excited to instill his deep interest into his students.
As a child, he constantly moved around. Nixon lived in three different states before starting high school in Sacramento.
He went into college originally with the intentions of becoming a computer science major; however, he soon realized that it wasn’t his field. After his timid rebellion of switching into accounting, he was required to take physics classes, where his interest in the sciences began to grow and blossom.
“Because I moved around a lot as a kid, physics allowed the world to make sense on some level,” Nixon explains. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and it shows that there is a consequence for every action taken. It just helped me make sense of the world.”
Before moving to CHS, Nixon had previously taught at Marina High School, a tight-knit community of people who looked out for each other. Luckily for him, he has begun to see that take form in the students at CHS.
“I’m most excited about working in the biggest science department I’ve ever worked with,” Nixon says. “I know that there is a strong tradition of real excellence and work and hope that I can perpetuate that in the science department.”
Accompanying the changes in the Carmel High counseling department is guidance and academic counselor Alison Francis, sponsor for the sophomore and senior classes.
Born and raised in Virginia, Francis has lived in Richmond her whole life and moved to Carmel after her recent marriage.
“I’m really excited to be here, and from what I can tell, it’s a really nice school,” Francis says. “I don’t just want people to know me as the person who changes your schedule, so I really want to get to know the students.”
Before choosing to go into academic counseling, she planned on going into medicine. It was when she interned at a hospital that she realized she had more interest in developing relationships with the patients and mentally working through what they were dealing with.
Francis’ many hobbies include being active and traveling. After graduate school, she spent five months in Tanzania where she taught English in a small village, becoming proficient in Swahili.
Another passion of hers has been counseling at camps that help kids get over grief and loss.
“I’ve volunteered at these camps for a while,” Francis says, “and it provides lots of healing for people who have had major losses in life.”