By Ashley Conde ’17
Immaculate Heart High School welcomed a number of new teachers to campus at the start of the school year. The Bamboo has launched a series of profiles about each of these faculty members and their lists of favorites. Here’s a closer look at Seth Johnson and Leah Sievering, both in the social studies department, and Qianna Medellin, in the English department.
Seth Johnson teaches World Civilizations I and II. His favorite nonfiction book is 1776 and his favorite fiction book is Pillars of the Earth. He was born in Florida, and during high school he participated in football, baseball and drama. He also volunteered on political campaigns. Mr. Johnson later attended the University of Tennessee, and he remains a big sports fan of the Florida Gators and the Tennessee Volunteers. As a hobby, he enjoys playing video games. He also prefers coffee over tea, shopping at Walmart, and eating his favorite food, pizza. Penguins are his favorite animals, and his favorite actor is Jimmy Stewart. In terms of his favorite season, Mr. Johnson is now in his element for he enjoys the fall best of all.
History has always been Mr. Johnson’s favorite subject. However, if he were not a history teacher, he says he would also enjoy teaching theology. The biggest influences on his life have been his parents and his faith in Jesus. If he could go anywhere in the world, he would go to Rome. His favorite quote is by author William Faulkner, who wrote in Requiem for a Nun, “The past isn’t over. It isn’t even past.”
Qianna Medellin teaches American Literature, Honors American Literature, and Women and Literature. Her favorite book is Their Eyes Were Watching God. She attended Loyola Marymount University, and her favorite sports team is the Dodgers.
During her high school years, Ms. Medellin was part of her school’s campus ministry team, and she also served as captain of the dance team. She admits she struggled with math while in school because she considers herself to be more expressive and artistic. Nevertheless, she says she worked very hard to earn good grades in her math classes.
Ms. Medellin cites her grandfather as the biggest influence in her life. Her favorite quote is “so live,” which is from the poem Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant. Among her favorite hobbies, she likes to dance, but she also loves to watch films. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting used bookstores. Her drink of choice is a mocha, and so she definitely prefers coffee to tea. Her favorite animal is an elephant, and her favorite actor is Daniel Day Lewis. If she could go anywhere in the world, Ms. Medellin says she would go to Ireland or England, and she would like to someday live abroad. Like Mr. Johnson, her favorite time of the year is the fall, especially November.
As an English teacher, Ms. Medellin believes that connecting to literature helps people learn about themselves and their place in the world. She practices this in her own life and likes to share it with her students.
Social studies instructor Leah Sievering earned her undergraduate degree from Reed College and her doctorate from UCLA. She enjoys teaching history because she believes that it’s one of the most intellectually challenging disciplines, and it requires one to think and rethink about cause and connections to events. She also finds it interesting that the same series of events can be viewed in different ways.
Ms. Sievering cites her maternal grandmother as the biggest influence in her life. Her hobbies include reading, doing yoga, watching interesting movies, coaching debate, and cooking. Although she is not a vegetarian, the teacher enjoys cooking vegetarian and vegan food because she it is challenging to creates flavorful dishes. Hence, she enjoys shopping at Penzey’s for spices to season her food. Her favorite food is her cherry cobbler, which she discovered the recipe for while listening to “Good Food” on NPR.
The teacher’s favorite book is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley because she finds it intriguing how it generates interesting questions about how far science should go and questions what it is to be human. Her favorite actor is Hugh Jackman, whom she enjoyed watching in Les Miserables. Coaching debate is a fun activity for her, as she participated in debate in high school. She loves dogs and cats equally, and even has a pet cat. She would rather live without television than without music.
Among her other favorites: Her favorite month is December because of Christmas. She prefers coffee to tea. If she could travel to anywhere in the world, she would go to Machu Picchu.
Be sure to look for more new teacher profiles on The Bamboo’s website in coming weeks!