Before they were teachers

 By Savannah Elahian and Chang Lee

To students, it may seem that teachers have been teachers all their lives. However, before they became teachers, they had other jobs. From flying jets to manning puppets, Granada Hills Charter High School teachers have held many fantastic jobs over the years.


“I was a professional contemporary dancer, traditionally rooted in ballet. My last performance was a piece entitled ‘Notes From An Artist’ with the Vadco Dance Co. of Chicago. I’m still a professional artist at the Tag Gallery at the Santa Monica Bergamot Station Art Center. It has the largest collection of contemporary art on the West Coast.”

– Visual and performing arts teacher Elizabeth Szymczak


“Carl’s Jr. Green Burrito was the worst job I’ve ever had. I came home every night smelling like french fries. Dogs loved me. I also worked at the Country Western Shop selling cowboy boots and at Kaiser Permanente in the Urology department.”

– English teacher Maureen Grandchamp 

“I was a bartender working at a lot of different music venues where I met a lot of bands. The places held about 1,000 people. I met Dave Matthews and worked with all kinds of music styles from hip hop to rock and roll. The best nights to work were disco nights.”

-Social studies teacher Ronald Korb


“I was a professional puppeteer on stage at Adventure City in Orange County.  Sometimes I was the puppet and sometimes I was the actress singing with the puppet. Being a puppeteer was fun because I got to do different voices. It was like live Sesame Street for three to ten year olds. It taught me showmanship because, as a teacher, you have to learn how to make things fun.”

– Social studies teacher Angela Soto

“I was in the Air Force, flying in the back seat as the navigator. I was on a couple of bases in California before I started flying.  Then I was in Korea for four years, and Japan for four years. I joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War when I was 24, and I started flying when I was 26, retiring as lieutenant colonel.”

– Science teacher Mel Zernow


Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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