Would You Send Your Child to School Here? Muir Teachers Say, “Yes!”
When John Muir High School Freshman science teacher Alexandra Gonzales was going to high school in Salinas, California, a lot of her peers had parents who were teachers, coaches, or administrators. “It was like a village, everyone helping to raise each other’s children. That just seemed normal to me.”
At Muir – now John Muir Early College Magnet – students with parents who work on campus is normal. For at least eight teachers, coaches and other staff, “bring your child to work” day is every day of the school year.
“I have such respect for my co-workers,” said Gonzales. “The staff here is amazing. In the twelve years I’ve been teaching here I would always tell my colleagues that I can’t wait until my kids have you!”
Now, she drives to work every day with Bill, her son who is a freshman in Muir’s Engineering and Environmental Science Academy (EESA). Bill attended Marshall for middle school but moved to Muir for high school. “I found that students and teachers were really welcoming. I made a lot of friends quickly,” according to Bill. “It’s a big community, with a diverse set of personalities: the nerds, the jocks, the geeks, the engineering kids… The thing is, it’s very easy to move between groups, to belong to more than one group. There are a lot of really good people here.”
All Muir students choose from one of three College & Career Pathway Academies: Arts, Entertainment & Media; Business & Entrepreneurship; or Engineering and Environmental Science (EESA). In addition to signing up for the EESA, Bill joined the swim team and got involved with the Dungeons & Dragons club.
Gonzales recently sat in on the senior defenses of students who were in her classes four years ago. “It’s amazing to see the growth. Academically, of course, but also the fact that these kids all want to give back – they want to help other people, they want to change the world – because that’s what they’ve received from this community.”
Early College Counselor Alejandra Diaz wanted her son Max to attend Muir – in part because she herself is an alumna, but she wanted the decision to be his. “I really liked the opportunities the Business Academy offered,” Max, now a junior, said. “I thought Muir would be a good fit for me, and I’d heard great things about the school… With the on-campus college classes, being at Muir has pushed and motivated me to be a better student than I was in middle school.”
Diaz agreed. “Sending Max to Muir was the best decision we could have made as a family. He is thriving here in a way he wasn’t in middle school, both academically and socially.”
At Muir, students can take college classes for college credit (for free) with PCC professors during their school day. Motivated students can earn the equivalent of an AA degree along with their high school diploma.
Gonzales recently ran into several families at Eliot Arts Magnet’s Science Night whose children went to preschool with her son. “They’re excited to join us at Muir, and that was great to hear because I didn’t think people realized what a special place this is. It truly is like a family here.”
At least eight members of the Muir staff currently have their children enrolled at Muir. This fall, that number will increase by one when Principal Lawton Gray’s daughter joins the Mustang family.
“This place is a gold mine,” says Gonzales. “It offers so many resources and opportunities, traditions and a rich history. I’m glad my son will be able to say, ‘I graduated from John Muir High School.’”
John Muir High School Early College Magnet, 1905 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 396-5600 or visit www.pusd.us/Page/57.