By Leila An Laserna '24 & Veronica Leon '24
We are glad to continue our “Meet the New Teachers and Staff” series. For today’s edition, we hear from Ms. Marlene Gutierrez and Ms. Sophie Ehlen.
Ms. Marlene Gutierrez, Mercy Volunteer
What do you do here at ICA?
I am this year's Mercy Volunteer, assigned to ICA to gain experience on what it is like working in a classroom setting.
Where are you from? What do you like to do during your free time?
I am originally from Los Angeles and my pronouns are she/her. I recently graduated from CSU Northridge with a bachelor’s in Child and Adolescent Development and Family Studies. In my free time, I enjoy playing video games and riding the train to places I've never been to before.
What is your role at ICA and why did you decide to work here?
I am a volunteer through Mercy Volunteer Corps, a program that promotes social change by placing and supporting volunteers like me for one year of service with communities across the United States. I specifically chose to serve ICA Cristo Rey because I am interested in the field of education. I believe that teachers provide a big influence for students, as they are shaping the minds of the future. I want to radiate positivity, kindness, and justice to students for a better tomorrow!
What advice would you give students?
To students who are struggling, don't ever assume it is too late to take action. Take advantage of your teacher's office hours and seek help when you are not understanding something. Your teacher cares about how you're doing, and will always make sure you are given the opportunity to improve. I do admit that when I was in school I was a procrastinator and terrible with my time management, but I learned that school planners were my best friend to overcome that.
Ms. Sophie Ehlen, Mathematics
What grade do you teach and what subject?
I teach geometry to the wonderful sophomores.
Why did you choose to teach this subject?
I <3 math! I think geometry specifically is pretty fun because it is very visual, and it can make more sense to students who have otherwise struggled in math.
Where are you from?
I’m from here in the Bay Area.
Why did you apply to ICA?
I saw an ad on Indeed, researched the school, and thought it was really rad.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I started tutoring for a work-study job in college and found that I really loved helping people understand math and physics. I continued with tutoring jobs for the rest of undergrad. After college, I had some other jobs that were more on the back end of education: designing a lab course for a college, writing a math textbook for a tutoring company, and designing curriculum for summer camps. However, I missed working with people every day. Teaching combines all those elements into one job!
How have you adjusted from teaching online to in-person?
While I do miss wearing my sweatpants all day and taking naps in between meetings, I am so happy to be back at work in person! It is much easier to connect to fellow human beings in-person rather than through a computer screen, and I feel less like an unproductive potato on a daily basis.
What do you like to do during your free time?
I love to be outside with my friends! I bike every day to and from work and love to surf, hike, and go backpacking. I also love reading, traveling, and learning about the physics of the ocean.