top of page

Pointer Staff Changes

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

by Pam Mendoza

New school year, new staff! As we make ourselves back at home on campus, you might’ve noticed the presence of some of our new teachers, and sadly the absence of others. The 2021-2022 school year has bid farewell to many memorable teachers, but there’s no need to fret, as we’re welcoming our many new ones with open arms!

Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when it’s to someone who contributed so much of their time and effort to the Pointer community. Coach Mike Hastings taught at PLHS for over 25 years, teaching our P.E. classes as well as being head coach of our varsity football team for 22 seasons. He led our Pointers to plenty of victories and worked to improve from our losses.

Senior Gerry Solares recounted Hastings as a “good coach, who was full of tradition. He was a motivator, a good motivator, who was pretty tough.”

Senior Fabian Casas added that while Hastings’ coaching was a bit tough, it was just his form of “tough love” for the team. Coach Hastings made his mark on this school, forever impacting the history of our football team as only the third head football coach since 1946. He will truly be missed. However, Pointer football fans, don’t worry, as new head coach Joel Allen is leading the team this season.

Halfway into our previous school year (2020-2021), we sadly had to say goodbye to one of our beloved teachers, Ms. Sylvia Maas. Ms. Maas taught Biology and AP Biology here at Point Loma for many, many years, and was a Point Loma High School alumni. Her love for teaching and intelligent character really brought the classroom together, even over Zoom calls. She never wanted a student to fall behind.

So when her retirement came early, it’s safe to say that we were all incredibly bummed, but happy for her to finally catch a well-deserved break. She didn’t leave us solely with memories though - we were left with an incredible new teacher, Ms. Webb. Ms. Webb had to take the difficult task of picking up a class in the second semester of a school year, and to not only teach, but prepare a class for an AP exam. While it was no easy endeavor, Ms. Webb did an excellent job with the resources provided was incredibly successful in her first-ever year of teaching.

Prior to stepping in for Ms. Maas, Ms. Webb completed her student-teaching here at Point Loma before she got hired, and even worked as a tutor for a while. Last school year, when Ms. Webb began, she was teaching Biology and AP Biology. This year, however, she’s extended her branches, and now teaches two regular Biology classes and two Marine Life Science classes. When Mr. Stiltner, the much admired previous Marine Life Science teacher, left, the job offer came up, and she took the opportunity.

Ms. Webb first gained her interest in the life sciences the more and more she experienced the outdoors. She would often go camping, enjoying what the environment had to offer, and from then on she set her mind to ecology. She got her degree in botany and went to Humboldt State University for her undergrad years. Following Humboldt, she completed the rest of her schooling at UCSD. So far at PLHS, Ms. Webb has loved everything about working here, and she even has a stunning view from her classroom. All her co-workers have been nothing but nice to her. She really enjoys working with her students and forming a class community. Being able to view their different perspectives and ways of thinking is very exciting for her as a teacher, and she definitely prefers in-person teaching. Ms. Webb sees a bright future ahead of her here at PL.

Ms. Vensand is our newest addition to the English department! She teaches four freshman general education English classes and one AP Literature class. Ms. Vensand previously worked at Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School, where she taught Multicultural Literature and AP Language. Ms. Vensand first gained her interest in English while in high school; her favorite class was actually AP Literature, and now that she teaches it herself, she really “enjoys being on the other side of it.” Teaching the AP Literature course, she’s found that many books she read in high school are still part of the curriculum. However, she’s also acknowledged all the new books, and is excited and glad that the curriculum has become more culturally responsive with the times. The school spirit here at PL has truly enticed her. So far, she really enjoys being at Point Loma High School, stating that she “really likes her students and co-workers.” She’s been provided with support and feels very grateful to be teaching here. Ms. Vensand loves PL and the student culture, and for the moment, has no other future plans besides teaching here. No one has failed at making her feel welcome, and we hope to keep it that way.

Keeping up and adjusting to the challenges of this school year has been especially tough on everyone, but our new teachers are making the change and are integrating themselves perfectly into our PL culture. We hope they can keep educating and inspiring our students to set big goals, and become valuable members of society. Please keep an eye out in future Pointer Press issues, as we continue to profile new staff members.


bottom of page