Central Coast High School is not your typical high school, but the teaching and learning that occurs on the CCHS campus offers a flexible learning environment for students with unique academic and social emotional needs. Students are encouraged to develop an enthusiasm for life-long learning, and to pursue post-secondary education.
Enter first year vocational teacher Olga Orlova. "I always tell my students that no matter what industry you're working in, this (what they are learning in the classroom) will apply," she says. With college career education in the forefront at CCHS, Olga goes the extra mile to engage students and gets excited when she sees a light go off in a student's head."In motivating students I try to bring something that they find interesting into the classroom to keep them coming back," she states.
Prior to MPUSD, she taught adults in medical assistance, billing, coding, and health at Heald College. She also served as program director and oversaw accreditation, administration and curriculum development. Her experience is just what CCHS needs as she takes a lead role along with colleague and ROP/Business teacher Melodie Burgess and Principal Alan Crawford to boost college and career education to the next level.
Absorbing techniques and strategies from the teacher orientation day back on August 3, Olga says "One of the things we're working on is communication among students," said Olga. She teaches four sections of health careers, and enthusiastically ties the education to what will be of interest to students bringing the real world to the classroom.
This week American Medical Response, the nation's leading medical transportation company, came to the classroom, and later this month the WIC (women, Infants and Children) program will share about careers in nutrition and the fact they are hiring students straight out of high school. In addition to bringing the world to the classroom, CHS is offering field trips to colleges, and providing opportunities for mock interviews and participation in a career fair later this year.
While new to MPUSD, Olga embraces and embodies all five of MPUSD's values.
- When it comes to every person matters, she says, "It's easy to teach the 'A' students," but I try to bring out the best in all students."
- Or when it comes to each day counts or learn something new every day, she says, "Every day I try to interest and engage students by providing hands-on lessons. I want to make sure they walk away every day with something."
- As she works to improve with purpose, she prepares her students for the world and ensures they can function as adults. While many appear eager and confident, she provide them with the tools to succeed. "I tell them when you get a new job you will receive a ton of paper work. I ask them 'how will you decide on health care, for example?' My purpose is to teach them life skills."
- Finally, we're better together. "This is true," she says. "Students are our future and I feel this weight and responsibility on my shoulders because we are shaping them up as our future leaders and future employees. We need to enlighten students at Central Coast that the door is still open."