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Pointer Staff Changes

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

by Pam Mendoza

As we make it halfway into the school year, I’m sure you’ve continuously seen new faces around- or at least half of it, so we’re making sure you get to personally learn about everyone you might encounter! There are countless new staff we’re so lucky to have on campus with us this year, and it’s important we shine light on every single one.

Our science department has gotten a few new additions to their staff, and one new notable teacher is Ms. Tippets-Russell! Ms. Tippets-Russell teaches two AP Biology classes, and one General Ed. Chemistry class. Previous to PL, she taught AP Environmental science at Coronado High School, along with Chemistry, Marine biology, and Earth science. She hadn’t originally planned to become a teacher, but she fell in love with the teaching environment and has been a lucky addition to her schools so far.

Ms. Tippets-Russell says she’s been interested in science, “for forever.” She would hike often in Torrey Pines, and taking many nature walks added on to her interest. Ms. Tippets-Russell’s dad is also a scientist! He’s a conservation biologist, and his role as an environmentalist has fueled her passions for decades.

So far she really enjoys teaching her students, in fact she always wanted to work here at PL. She lives nearby, and her children even go to Correia Middle School. She loves how hard working her students are, and all the staff here at PL have been very nice. Living nearby also gives her the chance to bike to school. Her absolute favourite part of teaching is getting to witness in real-time, her student’s understanding of the coursework, and having that little “Aha!” moment. Knowing that her students are learning is always an important moment for her as a teacher. This is Ms. Tippets-Russell’s first ever year teaching AP Biology, and everyone who’s taken the class know’s how difficult it can get. Yet despite its reputation for being the hardest class on campus, Ms. Tippets-Russell encourages and want’s more people to join!

Ms. Tippets-Russell really enjoys the lifestyle here on campus, and she sees herself working here for a long time. Working here makes her feel like she’s being helpful to the community, and all she wants is to give back.

The Math department has welcomed and bid farewell to many faces these last few years, and one face we’re welcoming with open arms is to Mrs. Davis! You can get the chance to meet Mrs. Davis in the 100 building, as she teaches three Integrated math 3 classes and one Integrated math 1 class this year.

Mrs. Davis joined the Pointer family this school year, after applying late to the district last school year, where they gratefully took her in. PLHS is actually quite far from her current home, but she decided to take the opportunity - which is turning out to be a great decision. So far, she really likes all the staff and her students very much. She was used to teaching mostly Freshmen when she was a teacher in Virginia a couple years back, and here she mostly teaches Juniors. Her favorite part about being a teacher is when she can almost see the gears turning in her student’s heads. When they make a connection to the material. She loves seeing her students learn!

Previous to working at PL, she was a stay at home mom for some time, providing child care for her kid, as her husband is in the U.S. Navy. And to bring light to some exciting news, she and her husband are expecting their second child right now! She's very sad that she’ll be unable to finish teaching this school year, as she’s due for the end of the year, but she’s loved everything about PL up till this point.

Mrs. Davis had always loved numbers and the math world, and she always knew she wanted to be a teacher since she was in the second grade. The real deal breaker for her was when she was in her junior year of highschool, and her precalculus teacher made her absolutely fall in love with teaching. In fact, her precalculus teacher even taught Mrs. Davis’ dad when he was in high school!

At the moment with her pregnancy, Mrs. Davis is still unsure what her future at PL looks like; hopefully she decides to stay a Pointer for some more time, but she’ll decide when she crosses that bridge.

Not only have we been gifted with new teachers this year, we’ve also been provided with wonderful new staff in the office! Ms. Alcantara is the first friendly face you will have the lucky chance to encounter if you visit the main office. Her lively spirit enchants everyone, and her drive to help all student’s possible demonstrates her selflessness in the educational world! Alongside working generally in the main office, she also uses her skills to be assistant to our Vice Principal Tolemeo.

Ms. Alcantara first got introduced to working in the school world by her aunt, who works at an elementary school. She applied to six schools at the height of COVID times, and got chosen here at PL. In fact, this is the first time she’s worked at a school ever! Previous to this she worked in finance, but she’d always been interested in hospitality since high school. She hopes to be the change at PL, and give back to the community.

Ms. Alcantara wants to be someone the kids can relate to, and truly enjoys talking to students. She’s also enjoyed having the opportunity to meet different variations of people as she works in the office. She loves to help, and wants to be the person she wished she had in highschool.

So far Ms. Alcantara has really liked working at PL, she says it’s a very quick paced environment in comparison to her last job, and she never knows what’s going to happen next, but what makes it all worth it is getting to know the students and their passions.

Ms. Alcantara has been working here since last June, and even helped organize last year’s graduation at Petco Park. Since then all staff have been incredibly nice and welcoming towards her, and she had other newbies in the office with her so she didn’t feel as alone. Thus far Ms. Alcantara says she’s very happy here and hopes to stay at PL for a while, there’s never a dull moment! She also would like to remind all bus-riding students that she handles all the bus information, so if you have any questions regarding such, to visit her in the office for help!

As we keep pushing out issues this school year, you will get the opportunity to learn about many more staff we have on campus, and see their wonderful faces through pictures for right now. Never be afraid to stop and say hi to all staff we have mentioned and will include, to make their welcome even more inviting!

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