Get+to+know+some+of+the+new+staff+at+the+Ranch

Get to know some of the new staff at the Ranch

March 3, 2022

There are fresh faces all across campus. Half of the school is new to campus and new hires range from counselors, teachers, and admins. With a comeback to campus, students and even staff are faced with strangers. 

Taking down the mask and opening the door, five of the new staff members agreed to answer questions to let students and staff get to know who makes up El Rancho.

Not all the new staff members were included due to time constraints, but they all deserve a warm welcome from students. 

Mr. Goyenaga

 How long have you been an administrator?

This is my nineteenth year as an administrator. I started as a dean, but I have been a dean, an assistant principal, and then a principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy watching sports, listening to music, and being outdoors. I enjoy camping, hikes, things like that.

Watching sports, listening to music, and being outdoors, I enjoy camping and hikes

What college(s) did you go to?

My undergrad was at Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). My masters and credentials at National  University.

Who is your favorite music artist?

Oof! So I am a big fan of Spanish rock. I grew up listening to Maná.

What is your job position?

As the Principal, I am in charge of making sure everything that goes around the school is running smoothly. Things like operational, safety, academics. I kind of oversee everything. 

What’s your zodiac sign?

I am Scorpio.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part is being able to assist students. That has always been my goal. Provide opportunities for students once they leave high school.

How do you feel about working at El Rancho?

I love working at El Rancho. As an alumnus, I am very proud of our school and traditions. I want to make sure that I can do everything I can to continue that. I want our students to feel proud of being here. 

Why did you choose your field to work in?

It was important for me to do whatever I could to facilitate and improve education. Anything that was within my powers to make sure students have resources and opportunities. I felt this was the way for me to do it.

What other things are you passionate about? 

I am passionate about helping people. Anytime I have the opportunity to help people or improve their lifestyle I will. I like to volunteer with organizations outside of my time that can improve people’s lifestyles.

What’s something that nobody knows about you?

As a young kid, I had the opportunity of traveling by car from Costa Rica to the United States, so I crossed Central America by car. It was an eleven-day trip and it was interesting because it was during the civil wars of many of the Central American countries.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a resourceful person who is very easygoing. I would say loyal. People see me as a loyal person.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself that I didn’t ask?

I love anything and everything about El Rancho. I am super glad to be here

 

Mr. Soto

 How long have you been teaching? 

 This is my first year at the Ranch, but my tenth year overall. Fourth-year with the district, two at Ellen Ochoa and one year at Rivera Middle.

 What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

 I enjoy spending time with my family. I have two young daughters ages three and one and a half. I like watching and playing sports (all sports baseball basketball football). I like to travel when I can, but that’s tough with the family right now.  

What college(s) did you go to?

 I went to Loyola Marymount University for my undergraduate, master’s, and credentials. I was there for seven years. 

 Who is your favorite music artist?

That’s a tough one, but would have to say… Muse. Muse is an alternative rock band.

 What is your job position?

I teach all Spanish 1 for non-natives. 

What’s your zodiac sign?

Taurus. My birthday is May 16.

What’s your favorite part of teaching?

Since I teach Spanish 1, I get a lot of freshmen and sophomores and I like to see how they develop and grow to eventually graduate. To see that confidence growth. I like to push and challenge students to be the best they can be and to follow their dreams and goals. 

How do you feel about teaching at El Rancho? 

I really like it. It’s a place that has a lot for the student to do. It’s a good community for the teachers, especially in my department. We are all together to encourage and help one another, so we can help our students. I really like being here

Why did you choose your field to work in?

I grew up speaking Spanish. I grew up in a Spanish-speaking family. It was just something that is a part of me that I wanted to share and help students whether they know it or don’t know it.  I want them to develop that skill because it is a very important skill, especially in today’s world to know another language. I wanted to get into teaching because I was just drawn to it in college, teaching, and tutoring. I just wanted to do more and more. 

Other than teaching, what other thing are you passionate about? 

Sports. I love sports! If I wasn’t teaching I would want to do something sports-related.  Actually before teaching, at my university, I used to call the play-by-play games for the sports team there. If I wasn’t teaching I would be in Radio/Television or journalism, I also really like learning more, doing trivia, and learning random facts.

What’s something that nobody knows about you?

I took three years of Japanese in High school.  Unfortunately, I forgot because I don’t practice. I tried using Duolingo for a little to relearn it

How would you describe yourself? 

If you ask anyone, they would say I am very relaxed, patient, and chill. It takes a little while for me to open up, but I like to talk to people to get to know them. 

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself that I didn’t ask?

I am very excited when these COVID regulations ease up and see what the student and El Rancho have to offer. I heard there were more clubs and more events happening. I’m excited to see when those events are once again possible. 

 

Mrs. Bonilla

How long have you been a counselor?

I have been a counselor for 8 years. I have been working as one in Downtown LA for 7 and this is my first year at El Rancho. 

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy hanging out with my two sons, a five-year-old and a two-year-old, and my other family members. 

What college(s) did you go to?

For my Bachelor’s, I went to Cal State Long Beach and majored in Psychology. For my Masters, I went to USC and studied Education in school counseling.

Who is your favorite music artist?

I don’t really have a favorite artist because I like everything. My top genres though are country and pop. I do like Harry Styles. 

 What is your job position?

I am a counselor. I work to advocate for student academics and be the social, emotional, or college go-to person for students. I’m involved in academic, social, emotional, and college counseling. I work to be a place where students can get answers to their questions or issues for last names Lo to On. 

What’s your zodiac sign?

My birthday is July 15th, so I am a Cancer. 

 What is your favorite part of your job?

Helping students. Since I also came to El Rancho, class of 2005, I enjoy the community and enjoy helping students to become successful.

 How do you feel about working at El Rancho?

I love being at the Ranch. It is so fun. There are a lot of activities, programs, and opportunities for students to grow. I really enjoy coming back to the school I grew up at. 

Why did you choose your field to work in?

That’s a long story, but to shorten it I would say just being able to help. Like I was a first-generation student at Whittier College, It was important to help other students know their greatest potential and be able to achieve their goals.

What other thing are you passionate about?

Some other things I am passionate about are spending time with my family, advocating for help with mental health, and reading. I like learning new things!

What’s something that nobody knows about you?

I don’t know. I am an open book, and I am very friendly.

How would you describe yourself? 

Easygoing and enjoys laughing.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself that I didn’t ask?

Very happy to be back at the Ranch. I am looking forward to getting to know my students. This is my first year as a counselor and I am excited to see my students grow this year.

 

Mrs. Macias

How long have you been a counselor?

I am a first-time counselor and have been working here for seven months.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy going to concerts. The next concert I’m going to is the Foo Fighters. I wanted to go to Adele too, but it was a little too expensive. I love being outside and hiking. 

What college(s) did you go to?

I got my bachelor’s at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB). I got my Masters at USC. 

Who is your favorite music artist?

That’s hard to pick. Right now, I am really into Dua Lipa, but it depends on my mood.

 What is your job position?

I am the counselor for students with the last names A-Ca

What’s your zodiac sign?

My birthday is December 22, so sometimes it’s a Sagittarius, sometimes it’s a Capricorn. It’s funny because my daughter will call me a Crapitarius.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love working and talking with students. I love being there for them when they have problems. Helping them sort through their problems and finding a good solution. I love the high school atmosphere.

How do you feel about working at El Rancho?

I’m home! I came here so it is nice to be back somewhere very familiar to me.

Why did you choose your field to work in?

Well one, I love working with students at the teenage development stage in their life. But I  also struggled myself going through high school with making decisions and I want to make it easier for anyone who has issues or problems. Any way I can help them, it makes me feel good.

 What other thing are you passionate about?

I love to craft. I made buttons for Project Lead the Way (PLTW). I always like decorating my door, especially for holidays. I like to explore the art with myself and see where it goes.

What’s something that nobody knows about you?

I’m an only child. They think I’m spoiled, but I love hanging out with people. I think because I was an only child, I like making friends like crazy.

How would you describe yourself? 

I hear that I’m funny, nice, and sweet. I try to be.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself that I didn’t ask?

I hope everyone feels that they can come to me to ask questions about academics or emotions. I would totally love to help. Also, Go Dons!

 

Ms. Baril

How long have you been a counselor?

This is my first school year as a counselor. I was a mental health specialist for three years before.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy camping, rock climbing, listening to music, going to Disneyland, cooking, baking, and hanging out with friends and family. 

What college(s) did you go to?

For my undergrad, I went to the University of San Diego (USD). For grad school, I went to Loyola Marymount University (LMU).

Who is your favorite music artist? 

I can’t pick just one! I like all kinds of genres. My favorite bands are the Lumineers, Vance Joy, Blink 182, Chvrches, the 1975

What is your job position?

I am a school counselor with the last name Ce-Ga.

What’s your zodiac sign?

Taurus

What is your favorite part of your job?

Getting to know the students on a personal level.

How do you feel about working at El Rancho?

I never thought it would work at a  high school, but when I was applying for jobs I figured anything I found would be meant for me. So far I really love it. Everyone here is very supportive and awesome. Students, administrators, and teachers have all been very warm and inviting. 

Why did you choose your field to work in?

I wanted a helping profession. At first, I wanted to be a doctor and then I realized you don’t really get to know your patients on a personal level. You are just diagnosing them and giving them medicine. With school counseling, you get to know students and help them on a deeper level with academics, social, and emotional issues.

What other thing are you passionate about?

Animals and LGBTQIA+ rights. I get to help out a little with LGBTQIA+ rights when counseling students who are in that category. I also love party planning. I’ve done a 20s themed party for 2020, a 60’s party for my dad’s sixteenth, and more. 

What’s something that nobody knows about you?

I don’t have a belly button. I was born with gastroschisis. So basically my stomach/abdomen wasn’t closed, so everything was out. Apparently, they had to sew me back up when I was little.

How would you describe yourself? 

Helpful, bubbly, stubborn (that’s the Taurus), kind, and generous.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself that I didn’t ask?

Not really!

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