5 Minutes with New Teachers

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5 Minutes with New Teachers

A-TECH Logo(picture taken by Katheryn Ellis)

A-TECH Logo(picture taken by Katheryn Ellis)

A-TECH Logo(picture taken by Katheryn Ellis)

A-TECH Logo(picture taken by Katheryn Ellis)

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In the 2018-2019 school year, A-TECH welcomes seven new teachers to the staff.

Haihong Li – Chinese I

Haihong Li (Photo by Wenxin Chen)

积极, 阳光,善良” (Active, Bright, Kind-hearted)

Haihong Li is the new Chinese Language teacher this year. Before, she was teaching for 4 years in a Chinese high school. She graduated from Zhengzhou University, where she earned a Master’s Degree in ‘Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages.’

Li chose to become a teacher while she was in high school about 10 years ago.

Li carried out the interview in Chinese, which is her first language. “My teaching style is relaxed and happy.” Li said.

“I will give the right amount of homework to students; it is based on the progress and goals of our course.” Li said. 

Lorenzo Hernandez – Digital Game Development I, II

Lorenzo Hernandez has been teaching for 18 years, and he is starting his first year at A-TECH. He received his bachelor of music education from USE and his masters of education curriculum instruction from UNLV.

Hernandez found his passion teaching students when he got assigned to and elementary school as an assistant teacher while he was in college, so he decided to become a teacher.  

Lorenzo Hernandez (Photo by Wenxin Chen)

“I got assigned to an elementary school to help another teacher, and I just fell in love with teaching,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez decided to teach at A-TECH mainly because of the students.

“The students here are amazing, and capable of so much,” Hernandez said. “and they’re really respectful, focused, and driven.“

Hernandez wished to stay at A-TECH and expand the Game Development Program in five years.

“I wanna be teaching at A-TECH in five years,” Hernandez said. “I want five years experience here, and I wanna build this program. I just want to make it bigger and better every year.”

Kristen Vanwoerkom – World History, World History Honors

“Compassionate, Relaxed, Dedicated”

Kristen Vanwoerkom has been teaching for 9 years and she is starting her 10th year at A-TECH. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in History and Master’s Degree in Education from UNLV.

Vanwoerkom decided to become a teacher when she found out that she is in love with history.

Kristen Vanwoerkom
(Photo by Wenxin Chen)

Not only do I want each student in my classes to develop that passion for the past, but also I think it is really important to understand the story of the human past because it will help us better understand one another’s cultures, beliefs, and background. ” Vanwoerkom said. 

Vanwoerkom had completed her student teaching at A-TECH 10 years ago, which inspired her to come teach at A-TECH.

“It feels like I have come home,” Said Vanwoerkom. “[Furthermore,] my younger brother, Kameron VanWoerkom also attended A-TECH and graduated Valedictorian in 2010.”

Vanwoerkom also influenced one of her former students to become a teacher.

“I had a former student contact me one day and thank me for being the only [one] of her teachers who noticed she was struggling,” Vanwoerkom said. “She then told me she is studying to be a teacher because she wants to be able to help students the way I helped her.”

Vanwoerkom hopes to still teach at A-TECH in the next five years.

Jamie Steinberg – Orchestra, Band, Music Appreciation.

“Outdoorsy, Independent, Percise”

Jamie Steinberg (Photo by Wenxin Chen)

Jamie Steinberg has been teaching for 4 years, and she is starting her 5th of teaching at A-TECH. After she graduated from Harrison Arts Center in Lakeland, Florida for high school, she went to Florida Southern College for about 3 semesters and transferred to VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois.

Before Jamie decided to teach at A-TECH, she have been teaching orchestra and guitar among other things in Illinois, Florida, Oregon. Additionally, she was a music teacher at Cortez Elementary School. 

“I really enjoy the opportunity to teach orchestra and band. I enjoy the different dynamic between the students and the music with me,” Steinberg said. “I also am thankful to be teaching at such a supportive school environment.”

Steinberg is looking  to have a “dynamic, firm, outgoing” music class. 

“The greatest success is when I see students “get” concepts or master certain passages in music. When the students are proud of their hard work, I am proud of them,” Steinberg said. 

Steinberg hopes to expand the music program to allow for some full philharmonic pieces at A-TECH. 

James Nyznyk – Algebra 2

“Fun, Open, Caring”

James Nyznyk has been teaching for 11 years, and he is starting his 12th year of teaching at A-TECH. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education from UNLV and master degree from Concordia University.

James Nyznyk (Photo by Wenxin Chen)

Nyznyk enjoys the process of teaching and coaching, which has led his career in teaching.

“I strive for students to be able to understand math, not just to be able to do the problem,” Nyznyk said. “I’m big on stressing why we do what we do when learning a concept.”

Nyznyk decided to teach at A-TECH when he heard about great things that happened at this school.  

“I had a lot of success and fun teaching statistics at my old school,” Nyznyk said.

Nyznyk is planning to stay at A-TECH for the next five years.


Christopher Argento – Special Education

“Fantastic, Stupendous, Humble”

Christopher Argento is co-teaching English 9, English 10, Biology, Geometry, and English and Math Reasoning at A-TECH.

This year would be his 7th year being a full-time teacher. Before, Argento was teaching as a substitute teacher in a high school. 

Christopher Argento (Photo by Wenxin Chen)

“I tried some other career paths to see how they suited me, but I kept wanting to become a teacher,” Said Argento.

In the year of 2010, Argento signed up for a Master’s Degree in Education program to get the credentials to be a full-time teacher. 

“I have a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in History, from Rutgers University in New Jersey,” Argento said. “I have a Master’s Degree in Education from UNLV, and also have taken graduate-level classes in Educational Leadership at Sierra Nevada College.”

Argento decided to come to A-TECH because in his opinion, A-TECH is the best high school in Nevada.

A-TECH is the best school in Nevada, bar none,” Argento said. “I just want to contribute to the A-TECH legacy in my own way and help continue to make A-TECH the school that parents want to send their kids to starting the day they are born.”

Argento wished to make his class enjoyable and simple for his students.

“If you are my student, I do everything I can every day to make sure that not only do you understand what I’m trying to teach you, but you are able to go and teach it to somebody else and apply it to other areas of your life,” Argento said. 

Ursela Jones – AP Computer Science Principles & Computer Science Lab III

“Focused, Fantastic, Faithful”

Ursela Jones has been teaching for 13 years; she has earned a Business Education: Information Technology, Masters of Arts & Teaching: Business Education, and K-12 Administrative Licensure. 

Ursela Jones (Photo by Wenxin Chen)

Jones wanted to become a computer programmer at NC A&T SU. However, she was hired as a student worker in the Office of Special Education during her junior year of college. 

“I developed a love for teaching and education. I decided to teach because I wanted to make a positive impact on my community by sharing my passion for technology education with my students,” Jones said. 

Jones decided to come to A-TECH because she thinks it is the best school.

“A-TECH is the number one school in Nevada. The students are dedicated, focused and driven. The staff is competent and welcoming,” Jones said. “There is no better [school] to be in [within] CCSD!”

Jones thinks students learn differently, and she wants to find the best plan for her students as a teacher.

“I believe that students learn in many different ways.  It is my job to find the best strategy to teach a particular concept and engage my students,” Jones said. 

“In five years, I hope to continue teaching and facilitating the great students at A-TECH.  Additionally, STEMbotics Learning Center will be providing robotics summer camps and after-school program to kids all around Vegas and surrounding areas,” Jones said. 

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