Teachers Have Friends Too

By Inesa Sargsyan and Janessa Bisarra


Shano & Osorio

Mr. Kenneth Osorio and Mr. Brent Shano immediately kindled their friendship when they first met as football coaches. The pair share a unique bond with both watching the latter’s children grow and Shano’s mother personally delivering one of Osorio’s kids. “It’s awesome. We hang out at lunch. We talk about family, life and how we can improve our craft. We help each other be better people everyday,” Shano said.


TRIVIA RESULTS: Shano: 3/4 | Osorio: 3/4


Shim, Kim, Park

Peggy Shim and Tracey Kim had mutual friends in high school and became closer over the 19 years of teaching science together. Ms. Michelle Park, the new biology teacher, is a VNHS alumni who knew Shim and Kim during her high school years. “It’s really nice to know that they have your back,” Ms. Kim said. “I just feel like you can go deeper into not only your professional teaching support, but sometimes talk about other things too. So it’s kinda nice.”


TRIVIA RESULTS: Kim: 3/4 | Park: 1/4 | Shim: 3/4


Charlton & Torres

College Counselor Mrs. Mary Charlton approached Mrs. Elizabeth Torres and asked if she would like to teach Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a college readiness program. Agreeing to teach AVID, Torres and Charlton grew closer. “It just makes it so wonderful, it really does,” Charlton said. “It just is so enjoyable and I love hearing about her family and I get to complain to her about anything that happens to me.” Through AVID, the pair was able to throw a Christmas party for the students. “There was a photo session, arts, crafts and food and I think that was one of our most memorable experiences we had with each other,” Charlton said.


TRIVIA RESULTS: Torres: 1/4 | Charlton: 0/4


Margolin, Martin, Fuhrman

Math and science teachers Mr. Bradley Margolin, Ms. Kyrie Martin and Ms. Diane Fuhrman are close companions as they are teaching in similar departments. “We collaborate all the time because we’re in the same department,” Margolin said. The teachers share tips and learn about other students through one another. When asked about their most memorable experience together, Fuhrman shared a time when she made Martin laugh and choke on a piece of apple. “Mr. Margolin saved my life,” said Martin.


TRIVIA RESULTS: Margolin: 1/4 | Martin: 3/4 | Fuhrman: 1/4


Crosby, Mitchell, Watson

Mr. Jonathan Mitchell, Mr. Michael Watson and Mr. Robert Crosby met one another 23 years ago in 1996–the first year they began teaching at Van Nuys. Teaching in the same department at similar ages, the trio began their friendship with casual conversations. “With Mr. Mitchell, we talk about sports. He knows more about my favorite football team, USC, so I’ll get news updates from him,” Watson said. “With Mr. Crosby, we talk about history, politics and common complaints about the district.” Having close companions in a working environment to talk to greatly elevates the stress teachers face. “It’s just like how you have friends at school. Have someone to talk to,” Crosby said. “You just be you instead of being ‘Mr.Crosby’ or whatever my role is today.”

Besides conversing, the three comrades played basketball frequently with other students. “We all played basketball together in the celebrity-model basketball game,” Mitchell recalled. “Crosby and Watson were really good at basketball. These guys killed everybody and we were tied. They were afraid the teachers were gonna beat them.”

The three teachers share many memories together from visiting Crosby’s house up north to participating in unions. “We meet occasionally. Our wives know each other,” Crosby said. “We go over to each other’s houses occasionally and we chat.”



TRIVIA RESULTS: Margolin: 1/4 | Martin: 3/4 | Fuhrman: 1/4


Medrano & Sadighi

Ms. Milagro Medrano and Ms. Lydia Sadighi met at CSUN in a credential program. Although the pair met years ago, it was only until recently their budding friendship began. “We met there and didn’t really see each other for a few years until recently,” Sadighi said. “After Ms. Debova retired, Ms. Medrano took her room, and now, we’re neighbors.”

Since Medrano arrived at Van Nuys after Sadighi did, Medrano seeks advice and support from her friend. “It is so awesome to be able to talk to somebody that not only went to the same university, but is my friend who can help me with anything like ‘Ugh this kid…’ or ‘this lesson didn’t go well’.” Medrano said. The most memorable experience they share is when they attended a concert named “System of Down” together.



TRIVIA RESULTS: Medrano: 4/4 | Sadighi: 2/4


Saakyan and Molina

Despite meeting back in 2006 at CSUN in a Computer Science class, Ms. Saakyan and Ms. Molina grew close after arriving at Van Nuys. “It was my first year,” Molina said. “Saakyan had already been here for a year so I looked up to her for guidance and a mentor to show me the ropes on the do’s and don’ts. She helped me a lot.”

The friendship that Saakyan and Molina share greatly helps the pair, especially in teaching. “We get to vent out our frustrations,” Saakyan said. “It helps to talk with someone who knows what you’re going through, your situation and lend a helping hand to give advice and listen. I think that’s the most important part. You feel better knowing that they’re probably going through the same thing.”

When asked about their favorite memory that they share, Molina exclaimed, “HER WEDDING!” Saakyan shared that she had not invited any other faculty members as the special occasion was reserved for only close friends and family members. Besides the wedding, Molina also recalled the special Professional Development session at Palm Springs. “When you have a lot to talk about, a two-hour car drive can seem like ten minutes,” Saakyan said.


TRIVIA RESULTS: Saakyan: 4/4 | Molina: 4/4


Hula and Partida

Ms. Diane Hula and Mrs. Reesa Partida, the two dance teachers of Van Nuys, did not know each other prior to working in VNHS. It was only until they worked and made shows together that they became friends. “We have similar work ethics,” Ms. Hula said. “If we didn’t have the same work ethic, you would see it in our shows. It wouldn’t work.” When asked about a memorable moment with one another, Ms. Hula answered, “Having each others back.” “Having that person who has your back at school and it’s all the time, it’s not one particular thing,” Ms. Partida added. The two teachers sustain their friendship outside of school and hang out once in a while.


TRIVIA RESULTS: Hula: 4/4 | Partida: 3/4


Magaña and Bernardez

Unlike the friendships shared by other teachers, Ms. Ana Magaña and Ms. Evelyn Bernardez share a unique bond. Though they do not share the last name, they are biological sisters.

Ms. Magaña finds that working in the same school under the same department is very convenient. “We are able to collaborate with each other, share ideas, resources and help each other in many different ways. It is great to know that I have someone around who I can trust, someone who knows my strengths and weaknesses,” Ms. Magaña said.

Their most striking memories with each other come from their childhood of playing together. As expected, both Ms. Bernardez and Ms. Magaña are closely involved in each other’s lives. “We are both quite involved in each other’s life. We are in contact all the time, while at work and outside. We sometimes travel together, and also spend time with our respective families,” Ms. Magaña concluded.


TRIVIA RESULTS: Hula: 4/4 | Partida: 3/4