MacArthur welcomes five new faculty members

With five vacancies to fill before the year started, there are several new faces on the MacArthur campus.

On August 15, MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate School was officially in session. As students looked at their new lists of classes, they noticed names that were familiar and names that were unknown. MacArthur has had many great teachers who spend many years educating and preparing kids to learn that any new arrivals will have an exceptional time at school. This year Ms. Isabelle Arriaga, Mrs. Laura Ortega-Ocampo, Ms. Bianca Sanchez, and Mrs. Angela Gaines have joined the teaching faculty. The campus also welcomed new assistant principal Mrs. Cheri Daniels.

Daniels grew up in England, moved to Northern California, and went to high school there.  Following Northern Illinois University, she moved to southern California and has lived there since.  As an assistant principal, this is her seventh year. A cool fact about Ms. Daniels is at the age of eight she made money packing parachutes for her dad and his friends.

Arriaga and Ortega are new teachers at MacArthur who have spent many years preparing for their careers as educators. Arriaga, who now teaches eighth-grade social studies, was born in Orange County. She went to Chapman University, studying U.S. history and the Holocaust while earning a degree in History and Education. A fact about Ms. Arriaga is she loves the movie Cars.

“I enjoy getting to know the students and being able to have a good conversation with them,” said Arriaga.

Ortega is from Garden Grove California. She attended community college before Cal State Fullerton.  Ortega now teaches sixth grade E.LA.  A huge Spiderman fan, Ortega is delighted that some of her students also share an appreciation of the superhero.

“I applied and got interviewed for other schools but chose MacArthur. This is my fifth year teaching, but my first time teaching in the Santa Ana District,” said Ortega.

MacArthur’s new special education teachers are Sanchez and Gaines. Sanchez is from Santa Ana. She studied at Cal State Fullerton to earn a degree in Child Development. She has a tiger connection class, and academic support to help students with an Individualized Education Plan. A fun fact about Ms. Sanchez is she was a student at MacArthur!

“The biggest challenge about helping the students is getting to know them and making the students do their homework.,” said Sanchez

Gaines is also from Southern California, specifically Huntington Beach. She attended Cal State Long Beach, and majored in Psychology. Her job as a case manager means she manages Individual Education Plans. These are plans for individuals who need a bit of guidance to achieve certain educational goals throughout the school year. A fun fact about Mrs. Gaines is she is a grandma to three grandchildren.

Ortega-Ocampo and Arriaga replace Mrs. Heather Rigby and Mrs. Krystal Darrow, respectively.  Gaines and Sanchez replace Mrs. Jessica Reyes and Mr. Jon Straftford, while Daniels replaces Ms. Dana Cervantes.