The Mirror

Helene Burns: Finding Her Rhythm

After+five+years+at+Van+Nuys+Middle+School%2C+Ms.+Helene+Burns%2C+has+transitioned+to+high+school%2C+starting+her+16th+year+teaching+English+at+Van+Nuys+High
After five years at Van Nuys Middle School, Ms. Helene Burns, has transitioned to high school, starting her 16th year teaching English at Van Nuys High

After five years at Van Nuys Middle School, Ms. Helene Burns, has transitioned to high school, starting her 16th year teaching English at Van Nuys High

The Mirror | SEUNGYOUN LEE

The Mirror | SEUNGYOUN LEE

After five years at Van Nuys Middle School, Ms. Helene Burns, has transitioned to high school, starting her 16th year teaching English at Van Nuys High

By Seungyoun Kim

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Students who went to Van Nuys Middle School might recognize a familiar face here at Van Nuys High School.

After five years at Van Nuys Middle School, Ms. Helene Burns, along with some of her former students, have transitioned to high school, starting her 16th year teaching English at Van Nuys High School.

As a new English teacher for the residential students in Room 540, Ms. Burns is quickly adapting to her new role at Van Nuys High School.

She credits the kind faculty and staff for being supportive, as well as her veteran status as an experienced teacher for the quick transition. Although her teaching career spans the years, teaching was not her original dream job.

Ms. Burns dreamed of becoming an optometrist, but realized it was not her calling after she began taking higher level math courses in college. She was able to quickly change her major because of her unceasing love for English literature.

“I enjoyed the literature and the authors when I went to Cal State Northridge, so that’s where my focus was,” she said.

Gothic literature, the style of great writers like Edgar Allen Poe, is Ms. Burns’ favorite genre. “I like the detail that the five senses and the explanations and the examples used by the author,” she said.

After leaving Van Nuys Middle School, she continued her career at Magnolia Science Academy for three years, then transferred to Sylmar Leadership Academy in 2010. Her following years were spent at Arleta High School until she left her five-year position to extend her career at Van Nuys High School.

As the 2018-2019 school year continues, Ms. Burns is looking forward to finding her rhythm in her new position at Van Nuys High.

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Helene Burns: Finding Her Rhythm