GHCHS teachers as Highlander alumni


By Chang Lee and Saba Partovi

To Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) students, teachers seem to be from a wildly different era. The technology, clothes and movies that are considered “cool” today are definitely far from the “hip” things that were engaging way back when. However, it seems not much has changed since our teachers have left high school. Besides maybe differing tastes in media and apparel, many teachers and staff members are still reminiscent of their teenage years (or are still teenagers at heart). In fact, many of the staff members who work here are Granada alumni themselves. How different is GHCHS from the time that your favorite teachers graduated from high school? Let’s take a look!

Louis Cicciari

Year graduated: 1977

“The cool thing to do was to attend the varsity boys football games every friday night. After the game, we would all go to Bob’s Big Boy and hang out, and we’d compare each other’s hot rods. Working at the same high school that you attended was definitely weird at first. I began teaching here in 1993 after one of the basketball coaches, Bob Johnson, offered me a full time position coaching boy’s basketball. I dropped getting my business degree and pursued an education in teaching because that’s what I realized that I really loved. My teachers from when I was a high school student suddenly became my colleagues. I remember I addressed them as Mr. and Mrs. until they finally told me to call them by their first name. One day I was taking roll when one of my 9th grade students said, ‘You went to school with my mom!’ I felt old after that.”

Susan Hollenbaugh

Year graduated: 1986 

“I was part of band and was in color guard. It was very similar to what it is today, we did not have as many students though, and we were allowed to go out for lunch.  We had AP classes and we had Honors classes.  We had the same type of classroom work, like projects, homework and essays. Working at the high school I attended is actually fun. I am loyal to the school, since it was my high school.  I enjoy it when we do well in sports or academic competitions.  I enjoy having some of my teachers as friends now.”

Kelly Byars

Year graduated: 1999

“Granada was very much the same, except now it runs like a well-oiled academic machine.  It was still one of the largest schools in the San Fernando Valley.  It was famous the year I graduated because John Elway visited for the dedication of the football field. When I was a student, however, there was not as much academic variety. I was in Humanitas, and that was one of the only academic programs on campus. Today there is greater academic diversity and students have more options tailored to their specific educational interests and needs. Working at the high school I attended was definitely strange at first. I was actually a student teacher here before I started teaching full-time, so I was able to get over the initial weirdness then; and by the time I started full-time, I had pretty much fully adjusted.”

Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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