Our Newest Knights

Eva, Staff Writer

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Nervously navigating the halls, our newest Knights search for their newest classes. This year, however, Arroyo’s freshman class are joined by a group of 6 hopeful teachers by the names of Hannah Martin, Stacy Lim, Snow Lu, Heidi Toggart, Charles Leonardis, and Shahpore Khalifeh. Students may have seen them walking around the campus or perhaps even attend their class.

Ms. Lim

Prior to their arrival at Arroyo, these fresh faces worked at various schools at cities ranging from neighboring South El Monte to Boyle Heights.


For Ms. Lim, who teaches freshmen and junior English, being at a high school like Arroyo is an entirely new experience.

Mr. Khalifeh

“The previous school that I came from was a charter high school and it was really small. It didn’t have a lot of the same resources that we have here at this school. They didn’t even have a library or a field, or anything at all!” says the English teacher.


This sentiment could be said to be shared by first time high school teacher Mr. Lu, who, prior to being hired at Arroyo, had a job giving presentations to fifth graders on the importance of physics.

Ms. Martin

For many others, however, Arroyo is rather familiar. Ms. Martin, a first time full time teacher, had been student teaching and substituting on campus for about two years, stating that she “really got to know the campus and appreciate the staff, student body and culture of the campus.” Mr. Leonardis and Mr. Khalifeh, both PE teachers, had both coached for the school previously. Mrs. Toggart, a science teacher who had taught at South El Monte high school for 14 years, revealed she is an alumni Knight.

Mr. Leonardis

While she is not a new face to Arroyo, Ms. Crystal Mercado has recently switched gears from her usual job teaching English to becoming the school librarian.


“I think it’s an opportunity that I just wanted to see what I can do with, and so I’m excited to see just what changes we can make.”


Despite the challenges these new teachers are bound to face in the presence of hundreds of teenagers, many hope to have an exciting year and expect to instill positive changes.

Mrs. Toggart


“I am so excited for this year, so excited. I have all freshmen classes, which means that the students that I have I’ll get to see for the next couple of years, so I’m really excited get to see them from the beginning,” says Ms. Martin.


“My goal is to just make a positive impact with these students, and teach them how to have fun. That’s what it’s all about,” states Mr. Khalifeh
Mrs. Toggart, on the other hand, has a more tangible goal in mind.


“I plan to clean room 72.”

Mr. Lu


Whatever the case may be for our newest Knights, Arroyo welcomes them to our u-knighted family.

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Our Newest Knights