Friday Faces 2015: Upper Middle School - SLO Classical Academy
Inquire Visit Donate
San Luis Obispo Classical Academy San Luis Obispo Classical Academy

Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

Semper discentes—always learning together.
Subscribe to Down Home:
Loading
Categories

blog sponsors

Friday Faces 2015: Upper Middle School

{photo credit: Jessica Wilson, staff photos: Michelle Dorman}

We are moving right along in our Friday Faces series, and for today’s blog we bring you our outstanding Upper Middle School team. These teachers inspire and motivate our 7th and 8th grade students, nurturing independent, analytical thinkers. Our middle school program is known far and wide as being exceptional, and we are so thankful for this committed, creative team!

 

Cade Newman

UMS History/Literature Teacher (Track A & B), Friday Foundations UMS Teacher

Q: How long have you been at SLOCA?
A: Our children have been at SLOCA for the past seven years, but this will be my first year teaching here.

Q: What brought you here? How did you discover our school? 
A: As I mentioned, our family has been involved with SLOCA for years, and as I've had the opportunity to watch Team SLOCA evolve with wonderful, dedicated teachers, I've wanted to be a part of such a special group of educators.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Not necessarily in this order, but when I was a little guy I wanted to be an astronaut, a police officer, a fireman, a soldier, a superhero and a chef.  I'm now afraid of flying, wouldn't want to carry a gun, am not an adrenaline junkie and clearly have no superpowers.  I do love to cook, but wouldn't want to be married to a restaurant; I have an amazing wife.

Q: How many pairs of shoes do you own?
A: I own 16 pairs of shoes.  20 if we're counting cycling shoes.

Q: What do you like on your pizza?
A:  I like just about anything on my pizza, but my favorite is Palo Mesa's Greek pizza. It's to die for!

Q: Name a book you read this summer and enjoyed, or have read this year.
A: This summer I read Carol Dweck's Mindset and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Not only has it challenged me to see where I have a fixed mindset, but has opened my eyes to how I (we) can change our mindset to grow in any area.  It fits in so well with our motto Semper discentes, “always learning together.”

 

Sarah McCurdy Weinschenk

UMS and HS Latin Teacher (Track A & B)

Q: How long have you been at SLOCA?
A:  10 yrs.

Q: What brought you here? How did you discover our school? 
A: I was sought out by Susie and Lisa.  At that time I had been teaching home school Latin classes at my home for many years.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up until my junior year of college, at which time I knew I wanted to be a classicist.

Q: How many pairs of shoes do you own?
A: 20-25 pairs

Q: What do you like on your pizza?
A: Pesto/veggies

Q: Name a book you read this summer and enjoyed, or have read this year.
A: I re-read Middlemarch by George Eliot, inspired by Sarah Shotwell's reference to it in her high school commencement speech.  I also read Confronting the Classics by Mary Beard and A History of Arthur Pendennis by William Makepeace Thackeray.

 

Paige Bartel

Science Team Lead/Curriculum Coordinator, Algebra Teacher (Track A & B), and Science Bowl Club Leader

Q: How long have you been at SLOCA?
A: I began teaching at sloCAHS in 2011, and at the middle school level in 2013.  

Q: What brought you here? How did you discover our school? 
A: My husband and I moved to SLO in 2007 to pursue graduate programs at Cal Poly. Our first child was born in 2009, and suddenly education became a lot more personal. I began looking into all sorts of schools – both as a future school for our kids, and for a place of employment. Not only did I instantly fall in love with SLOCA as a place of learning, it was a great fit for me as a mom. Working part-time allows me to do both of the things that I love – being a mom to both of my kids, and getting to learn alongside all of yours!

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: As a middle schooler, I wanted to be a computer animator for Disney. Then when I fell in love with genetics in high school, I wanted to go into biomedical research. I started college as a pre-med student, and planned to do a Ph.D. in biochemistry, but fell in love with teaching along the way. 

Q: How many pairs of shoes do you own?
A: I just downsized – from over 60 to around 20… which is still an obscene number of shoes, I know!

Q: What do you like on your pizza?
A: My favorite is the “California Veggie” (garlic herb sauce, mozzarella, spinach, zucchini, artichokes, tomatoes, green onions, chopped garlic) but I like to add either bacon or pepperoni. 

Q: Name a book you read this summer and enjoyed, or have read this year.
A: I'm re-reading a favorite, Eva Luna (by Isabelle Allende) for my book club currently, and finished both Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel) and The MaddAddam Trilogy (Margaret Atwood) earlier this year. I've got The Blind Assassin (also byMargaret Atwood) waiting on my night stand. Is it a little to stereotypical for a science teacher to read almost exclusively science fiction?!

 

Alanna LaBine

UMS Science Teacher (Track A & B), Pre-Algebra Teacher (Track A & B)

Q: How long have you been at SLOCA?
A: This is my first year!

Q: What brought you here? How did you discover our school?
A: I heard about SLOCA through my husband who is good friends with (and works for) a SLOCA family.  I am thrilled to have found the school and am excited to continue learning and growing here alongside the wonderful faculty and staff.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Since preschool I wanted to be a teacher, and practically every year in school I would think to myself “I want to teach this grade!” I took a detour into engineering for a few years and am excited to finally teach!

Q: How many pairs of shoes do you own?
A: I have moved around so many times in the past six months I couldn’t even tell you what city all of my shoes are currently located in!  I would guess ten to fifteen though.

Q: What do you like on your pizza?
A: That depends on my mood and the type of pizza.  I range from thick meat lover’s pizza to thin crust pizzas with arugula and fresh vegetables.

Q: Name a book you read this summer and enjoyed, or have read this year.
A: I read the “A Voice in the Wind” series by Francine Rivers a few months ago and absolutely loved the books. 

 

Annie (AnnE) Lorenzen

UMS Logic/Rhetoric Teacher (Track A & B), Facilitator for UMS Student Council 2015-2016

Q: How long have you been at SLOCA?
A: 9 years

Q: What brought you here? How did you discover our school? 
A:  Mrs. Weinschenk mentioned me to Lisa Lewis and Susie; Lisa Lewis saw my Argument 101 Class in the Cuesta College for Kids Catalog and asked me if I could deliver a school-year-long class.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A:  A surgical nurse

Q: How many pairs of shoes do you own?
A:  17, I think.

Q: What do you like on your pizza?
A:  Anchovies, for sure.

Q: Name a book you read this summer and enjoyed, or have read this year.
A: Don Quixote and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

 

Previously featured:

Pam Gerhardt – LMS, UMS, and HS Latin Teacher, A4/B4 Lab Teacher

Guy Kinnear – LMS, UMS, and HS Art Teacher

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *