New on campus: Teachers

Yuna Lee

The newest teachers at MVHS answer questions about teaching, their backgrounds and their interests. Click on a photo to find out more about each teacher!

Asuncion  Morales  Weingartner  Utile  Capule


Kris Asuncion
Algebra 2/Trig

Q: Why did you choose teaching as a profession?
A: I used to work in IT as a systems analyst, and it was really unfulfilling. I really enjoyed working with kids and sharing my passion for math. I really want to help kids and make them feel good about what they’re learning.

Q: If not teaching, what else would you be doing?
A: I’d have liked to be an officer in the Air Force because my dad was in the Navy. He really enjoyed it — he traveled a lot and got to serve the country, which I think is cool.

Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I’ve actually been practicing Brazilian Jujitsu. I used to wrestle in high school, but they didn’t have many sports at my university, so I ended up pursuing martial arts. I’ve been able to train with some world champions, and I’m a blue belt. I also get to compete!

Q: Tell us something about yourself that you are proud of and that most people don’t know about you.
A: After eighth grade, going into ninth grade, I had open heart surgery — they had to operate on my bicuspid valve, and just bouncing back from that and becoming a normal student was hard. I also joined the wrestling team. I’m very proud that I didn’t let it affect me physically and that I kept competing actively. Despite my physical disadvantage, I was able to do it, so I think if you have the right mentality, you can do anything.

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Viky Morales
Spanish 2

Q: How would you describe yourself as a teacher in one word?
A: Sassy!

Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: What free time? [laughs]

Q: Tell us something about yourself that you are proud of and that most people don’t know about you.
A: I’m proud of being able to influence people in a positive way, and I know for a fact I’ve been able to influence my siblings. I have a huge family — 12 brothers and sisters — and my older siblings struggled to find their way, while I was much more focused. My parents were immigrant parents, and we lived in the poorer neighborhoods of San Francisco, but I was very determined. Like I wouldn’t go out in the streets and engage in certain activities in my neighborhood. It was tough, but I feel like I’m a stronger person because of it.

Q: What do you think about MVHS students so far?
A: I can definitely tell we’re in the Silicon Valley area now because I’ve had students ask me how to say “Java” in Spanish [laughs], which I had never heard before. These kids ask amazing questions, and I can tell they’re really engaged.

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Eric Weingartner
Concert Band and String Orchestra

Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: I’ve been teaching for four years. This is my first year at MVHS and fourth year in the school district because I’ve been teaching at Homestead High School.

Q: Why did you chose teaching as a profession?
A: I was influenced by such incredible music teachers growing up, that by the end of high school I decided I wanted to be the kind of teacher that could recreate these experiences for high school students. My whole family is very musically inclined, and I made it my goal to be a high school band director from my first year of college.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a teacher?
A: I expect excellence in everything the students do, from how they begin rehearsal, how they conduct themselves during the rehearsal, how they perform the music. I’m always asking more from the students, asking them to strive a little more always.

Q: What do you like about MVHS so far?
A: MVHS has a big ensemble, so I can tell that people enjoy being part of the music program. Getting to know a new student body, new faculty, new campus, new parking lot [laughs] is challenging and really interesting at the same time.

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Laura Utile
Library Media Educator

Q: Have you tried different career paths in the past?
A: I actually worked in retail for almost 20 years before transferring to education. Something I did in the retail industry [was] school field trips, and I was slowly getting exposed to education. Just helping students and watching students grow really excites me, so I decided to work in education.

Q: Are you perhaps thinking of becoming an advisor for any clubs or sports on campus?
A: I haven’t learned much about the clubs on campus, but I’d love to! I have an older brother who is gay, and he’s ten years older than me, so he had a lot of resistance growing up. I would be interested in working with the Gay-Straight Alliance on campus, if there is one.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a teacher in one word?
A: Passionate.

Q: What are you looking forward to this school year at MVHS?
A: All the new things I’m learning. You never stop learning, and at Monta Vista there is so much new technology I didn’t have access to at my old school.

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Sara Capule
Literature and Writing and Drama

Q: What did you do in theater?
A: I was a director, but I have experience in many different aspects of theater. One thing I l love to do is to integrate different elements of theater into plays when it’s appropriate, like integrating musicals into plays. One of the best plays I directed was “A Raisin in the Sun,” where I developed a strong bond with everyone involved. It’s what I’m hoping to do at MV Drama: create a great community.

Q: What skills would you bring to MV Drama and the MVHS community?
A: I didn’t take drama until my junior year in high school, so I really want to get students interested who have not initially thought about drama. I want to get people excited about drama and make it as accessible as possible.

Q: What was one of the most memorable experiences you had with a student?
A: There’s a movie called “Dead Poet’s Society” about a teacher and his students, and at the end of the movie, the students stand up on their desks to show their appreciation for him. And that happened to me at the end of last year [at Lynbrook High School]: all my ninth grade students stood on their desks and saluted me, and it was a really great experience.

Q: What can high schoolers take out of a class like Drama?
A: Drama teaches communication and collaboration. It really shows students that you can work together to produce amazing results. In the real world, you often have to rely on people, so I think it’s really important for students to learn.

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