Job: Human Resources Manager
Last Job: Human Resources Manager at another school
Paving Pathways: As the first HR Manager at Lick-Wilmerding, Condren must develop her new role. “There are some parameters already established,” Condren clarifies, “but I have some leeway on how to organize things and develop programs and systems.” At Lick, Condren will “support the staff and be a resource to them” by assuring “the administration of benefits for employees and ensuring that we’re following local labor laws and federal labor laws.”
Lick Lovin’: Condren says, “I love the philanthropic atmosphere here…very much part of the mission…I believe in the mission…I love the head, the heart, and the hands.” When asked which aspect of the celebrated motto she admires most, Condren says that she applauds the hands. “I think that’s fascinating to me, the technical arts,” says Condren. “You don’t see technical arts a lot in school these days, and I think it’s a very neglected part of education and part of development for [all] people, kids and young adults.” She hopes to try out the electronics shop with fellow new staff member, Becca Glowacki.
Job: World History and U.S. History teacher
Last Job: Theatre teacher at Invision Academy and history teacher at Berkeley High School
Master Storyteller: Gusfield, a theatre and history buff, finds the two disciplines very similar. “They’re both about storytelling,” she explains. “They’re both ways to understand what it means to be human and what experiences humans have.” Her favorite subject to teach relates to how race and identity play out during different time periods. “I’m particularly interested in learning and teaching about the [transatlantic] slave trade,” she reports. “In U.S. History, I’m most interested, right now at least, in the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War.” Gusfield likes to think that “things could have been different…nothing is inevitable in history, so there are these moments when everything could have been different if people had made different decisions.”
World Traveler: Much like Phileas Fogg from Around the World in 80 Days, Gusfield is quite the globe trotter. After spending part of her college career in Madrid, she studied flamenco in Granada for a few months. While in Turkey, Gusfield delved into the history of Turkish Jews. “I got to talk in Spanish to Jews who could trace their lineage back to the Inquisition. Turkey opened up to Jews who could get there. There’s a very small number of Jews in Turkey who speak 500 year old Spanish, like Don Quixote Spanish.” Despite her worldly adventures, Gusfield says that the Bay Area “is one of the best places to come home to.”
Job: Student Life Programmer/Web Editor
Last job: K-6 elementary special education teacher
She’s All Heart: When asked which part of Lick’s motto she embodies, Pierce chose the heart. “I am somebody who thrives on connecting with others and building relationships, sometimes slowly and over time; that’s what makes me happy,” Pierce says. “It’s honestly why I’ve been so happy for the past three months that I’ve been working here. I genuinely enjoy the people I interact with on a daily basis.” Pierce encourages others to be passionate about trying things and to accept failure in the process. At Lick, Pierce notes, people are extremely open to trying and failing, and learning from those experiences.
Respect Yourself: As an elementary special education teacher, Pierce found that the problem wasn’t with the academics but with the social welfare of her students. “They’re not going to get any of the academic content,” Pierce says, “if they don’t feel good about themselves or understand that their ideas and who they want to be have value.” Because of her ethnics studies background, Pierce eyes academics and social well-being with a social justice perspective. Pierce wanted to “help kids understand their place in the world and feel good about themselves.” So when she found the Center, Pierce says it was “my dream job.” “Thinking about social justice,” she says, “like giving students safe spaces, having tough conversations; that seems like everything I’m all about.”
Becca Rose Glowacki
Job: Technical Arts Instructor
Last job: Maker Teacher
All of the Lights: An artist at heart, Glowacki began her career by experimenting with light and shadow. “I started making my own [lights],” she says, “and making my own circuits and programming them and that’s how I got into this world.” Glowacki, though proficient in electronics, also loves making interactive art pieces. “I do kind of performance-y things,” she explains. “For example, I make books and I embed lights inside the books, which is really nice. With the books, I really love that they’re really tactile and people can hold them and they’re interactive.”
The Democracy of Art: “I teach because I want people to learn the skills so that they can make their own art and be confident with that,” Glowacki says. Her teaching style and her art style intertwine in this way: she wants everyone to feel a part of art, whether in class, in a museum or just out in the world. “If I make something, I hope that people can touch what I’ve made, feel connected to it and part of it, so they almost complete the piece by them being there,” Glowacki says.
Job: Manager for the Fund at LWHS
Last job: Fundraising for a San Francisco non-Profit
Designing the Fund: Golden, though strictly in fundraising now, used to be a costume designer in the Bay Area. She worked at the San Francisco Opera and Opera San Jose, among other places. But when her children went to preschool, she became involved with “fundraising through my kids’ preschool” and culminated her work by generating funds for a new school building and raising a million dollars. “I found it not unlike theatre,” Golden explains, “in that it’s really about telling a story and connecting someone with a story. Doing an event for fundraising is just like theatre in that it’s a production.” It’s also all about making the actors or the possible donors feel comfortable. “They can just be out there and feel like the details have been taken care for them,” Golden says. “And they don’t have to worry about it and they can focus on what they’re really there to do.”
A Costume Designer’s Job: Golden reflects on one of the most satisfying experiences during her costuming career. While working for Opera San Jose, she was tasked with designing for young singers who were there for the experience. “There was this one singer in particular who, when she first came, was really anxious about how she would look,” Golden recalls. “And then, after a couple of years, I remember being in a fitting with her and it was the same thing: the pencil marks and the plain fabric and the safety pins, and she stands there and she looks in the mirror and goes, ‘Oh, this is gonna look great!’” Once the girl learned the process, Golden recounts, she was able to understand it and see it from a designer’s perspective, as well as trust the designers, coming to the understanding that a designer has got the actor’s back. After all, Golden says, “so much about performers and costume is making them comfortable.”
Job: The Alumni Program Manager
Last job: Marketing for a digital arts college
Alumni Tales: Being Alumni Program Manager, Kozuki says, is much like being a storyteller. “We’re telling stories all the time,” she explains. “And we’re sharing those stories.” This year, Kozuki plans to join hundreds of people’s stories together for the upcoming reunion. “I think we’ve got someone registered from the class of I want to say, ’36,” she says excitedly. “We’ve got people attending, you know, people that studied here years and years ago and still love to come back. They love to know what’s happening here.” Alumni from the class of ’64 will also be back for their 50th class reunion. “Something really special about having gone to this place,” Kozuki says, “is that when you meet someone who, let’s say, graduated from Lick twelve years before you, you will still be able to talk about very similar things and have that shared experience.”
Shopaholic: Like so many of the other new (and old) faculty and staff, Kozuki is mesmerized and excited about the technical arts Lick. When asked which shop she would try, she says, “My first response would be jewelry making, because I love jewelry and it would be fun to be able to create them.” However, after getting to know a bit more about the other classes offered, Kozuki changed her mind. “I also learned a lot more about a lot of the other classes here and I just learned what a plasma cutter was,” she says. “I just saw these amazing projects from the wood shop that students had created and built, so I’m a little torn.” Kozuki decided on choosing to take both of the classes—a very “Lick” thing to do—and admitted: “I’ve never experienced anything like that.”
Job: Assistant Director of Admissions (Outreach)
Last job: Boston public schools’ Center of Student and Family Engagement
Not a ‘Foodie’: Growing up in Koreatown in Los Angeles, Yoo says he has a strong connection with food. “I learned how to cook from my mom,” he recalls, “just watching her, because I was never actually allowed in the kitchen so I would have to just watch from the doorway.” Now, times have changed and Yoo enjoys cooking and going to restaurants, a hobby he picked up in Boston. “I never knew how much [food] meant to me until I went to Boston,” he says, “and started to talk to people who are very serious about food and realized I could have really great conversations and basically they felt like we were kindred spirits.” Just don’t call him a ‘foodie’. Yoo says he doesn’t like the word because “I hate any of the normal foodie related behaviors, or even food bloggers.”
California Dreamin’: Yoo admits he loves being on a high school campus. “Just being able to be on a high school campus again is really awesome,” he says. Before coming to the Bay Area, Yoo taught at a middle and high school in Korea. But, he says, he’s a Californian at heart. “I love the Bay and a lot of my college friends are from the Bay, so there’s no hate here,” Yoo says, referencing the Northern-Southern California rivalry. “I love the geography of it. Whenever I look out and see all those houses packed out on the hill and then you can see water everywhere, just all those bridges. I don’t know, it’s just kind of a nifty place.”
Job: Modern World History teacher
Last job: 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher at AP Giannini
Return of the Alumni: Khavul, an alumni of Lick, says that it’s great to be back on campus…and a tad weird. “It is a little bit odd,” Khavul says. “It’s a little bit of an odd feeling to be teaching here, and especially in terms of, you know, like the classroom where I teach hasn’t really changed since I was here.” But, he says that it’s been interesting to see and work with teachers that worked at Lick when he was a student. “They’ve teased me a little bit because I wasn’t the best student ever,” Khavul reminisces, “but they’ve all been really welcoming and it’s been really fun.” He also cited the cafeteria food as the one thing he wants to try more of as a teacher.
Teacher at Heart: From an early age, Khavul wanted to be a teacher. “I remember they asked us in fourth grade what we wanted to be,” he recalls, “and people were like, astronaut, fireman all these typical jobs kids were saying and I was like, I want to be an American history teacher.” When asked which part of history he most likes to teach, Khavul responded, “I like sort of post-World War II. Looking at the Cold War, looking at that conflict and how it played out…I also kind of enjoy the stuff going from way back, in the earlier Mesopotamian city-states and how they developed.” Khavul is also excited to be teaching at Lick specifically. “From an alumni perspective it’s really sort of a sense of pride in being back,” he says.