Staff Socializes at Retreat in Healdsburg


S. Poling

The Miramonte staff takes an early morning hike in Healdsburg.

Ellie Poling, Editor in Chief

Over 30 Miramonte teachers and administration enjoyed a relaxing staff retreat to Healdsburg. The retreat was organized by Biology teacher Manoa Koepp, English teacher Steve Poling and Latin teacher Nick Carpenter. Much of the staff organized activities for smaller groups to engage in over the course of the weekend, as well as all inclusive sessions.

The staff kicked off the retreat with a reception and opening activity.  Geology teacher Nikki Leboy’s favorite part of the weekend was the opening activity. Everyone anonymously wrote down a quote or small philosophy on education and the retreat organizers read the list aloud to everyone. One by one, the teachers had to guess who said which quote, which prompted fun stories and conversations about past experiences.

“It was surprising and fun, and the eliminating made it like a game,” Leboy said. The staff snacked and chatted for the rest of the night on Friday.

“One of my favorite parts was getting to socialize with my co workers in a setting away from school,” Psychology teacher Nader Jazayeri said. “I got to know Mario Diaz (Spanish teacher), or as I like to call him ‘SuperMario.’ We talked soccer, Peru, and of course, Miramonte.”

Saturday morning some of the retreat attendees went on a hike in the hills above the retreat center. “The weather started to clear up as we got to the end of our hike, it was beautiful, just really relaxing,” Leboy said.

Later that day, Public Speaking teacher Kristen Plant led a discussion on how to promote student mentoring on campus. Math teacher and husband Mike Plant plans to incorporate some of Kristen’s ideas into his classes.

“In public speaking there’s a whole buddy system. I don’t think you can do this exactly the same in math but I’m intrigued by the idea of pairing up two separate classes,” Mike said. Setting two different levels of math classes during the same period, as a sort of peer tutor/work period could be in the works for the future of math at Miramonte.

Saturday night, a few staff members found a clearing to gaze at the stars and enjoy the fresh midnight air. Physics teacher Dan Shortenhaus brought his telescope, so friends could get a closer look at the magic.