Why This Alumna Became a Counselor at Her Alma Mater

college counseling

“When I became a counselor many of my friends and even family members would ask me, ‘Do you have a couch where you ask students how they’re doing while you scribble notes in a notepad?’” chuckled Stacie Cruz, a counselor at Ánimo Leadership Charter High School.


More Than a Game: Layups and Life Skills


“Early in my career, my first principal told me, ‘I don’t see the value in athletics.’ My jaw dropped,” recalled Todd Wright, Athletic Director at Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High School. Wright knew nothing could be further from the truth.


How One Math Lesson Turned Into a Chess Club


The courtyard at Ánimo Jefferson Charter Middle School bustles with laughter and the sounds of children as they crowd around each other at the lunch tables. Down the hall, the hollow thud of wooden chess pieces echoes in Luis Garcia’s math classroom as 20 students eagerly set up chess boards.


Perry Shields: Journey of a Second Career Teacher


“I’m 57 years old, and I’m in my twelfth year of teaching — I’m late to this,” chuckled Perry Shields, drama teacher at Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo Charter High School (ODLH). Shields doesn’t mind that his teaching career began later on, as he’s been able to bring his life experiences and passions into his role as an educator.


Why You Can’t Just Teach Language With Worksheets


“My focus has been to have the students look at Spanish as a tool, an advantage, and an academic subject, instead of a class they have to take for a grade or a language they only speak at home with their families,” said Borlant-Guertler, Spanish teacher at Ánimo Leadership Charter High School


How This Math Teacher Connects the Dots for Her Students


“It never fails, every time I tell someone that I’m a math teacher they say ‘oh my god, I hated math when I was in school,’” chuckled Elizabeth Marin, math teacher at Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School. Though she’s aware that not every student will leave her class in love with math, her goal is to ensure that all her students can confidently engage it.