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English

Joe Lovato is the English Department Chair and is a 30-year veteran of Mt. Pleasant. Mr. Lovato earned his B.A. in English and his teaching credential at San Jose State University. Additionally he holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership, a preliminary administrative credential, and in 2014 completed a fellowship at Yale University studying rhetoric.  He’s taught every course in the department, and in recent years has been working closely with the SJSU Teacher Preparation program, mentoring teacher candidates, several of whom are now teachers in the department.  As part of the Goodwill Assets Grant, Mr. Lovato is also teaching a course on Thursday afternoons entitled Film and Fiction of New York City. In addition to his teaching, departmental leadership, and SJSU mentoring duties, Mr. Lovato is released one period a day to coordinate the WASAC self-study for 2021.
 
As a life-long resident of San Jose’s East Side, Mr. Lovato is committed to creating a Mt. Pleasant community that nurtures and challenges students towards academic excellence and critical thinking. His professional interests focus on new teacher preparation and support, as well as developing creative project-based learning opportunities for students. Mr. Lovato serves on the Instructional Leadership team, the School Site Council, The MTSS Team, and the district’s English Curriculum Council. He has been honored by Columbia University, Santa Clara University, U.C. San Diego, as well as by the San Jose City Council, the California Superintendent of Education, and by numerous professional organizations. Mr. Lovato was recently featured in Heroes of the Community magazine, he was a recipient of a 2016 Dorothy Wright award from San Jose State University, and he was Mt. Pleasant High School’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. Most recently he’s been recognized in February of 2021 by the ESUHSD Board of Trustees for his work towards creating equitable communities in the district.
Veronica Arroyo received her B.A. in English and Single Subject Credential from San Jose State University. For the 2020-2021 school year, Ms. Arroyo is teaching three sections of English 2A and a section of ELD 3 [Language and Literature]. As a Mt. Pleasant alumni, she is honored to be able to return to the community that fostered her passion for education. Her goal as an educator is to instill a passion for learning in her students, help them express their voice and ideas through their writing, and equip them with the critical thinking skills that they will need as they prepare to take the next steps in their lives. As a means of developing their critical thinking, Ms. Arroyo strives to help her students relate to and understand the cultural relevance and timelessness of the themes they encounter in literature.
Genevieve Estrada
Bio: Ms. Estrada has called Mt. Pleasant home for 13 years. After earning her degree in Psychology from Ateneo University in Zamboanga, Philippines, she completed her Education Specialist Credential at National Hispanic University in San Jose, California. She teaches English 1 (co-taught with Ms. Sisco), English 1 Essentials, and Study Skills. She is a case manager and department chair of the Special Education Department. She serves on Mt. Pleasant's Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) team and School Site Council. It is important to her that the classroom is an academic environment that is supportive and a safe space for all. To her, students’ participation in activities and sports is an integral part of the Mt. Pleasant High School experience. Over the years, she has been a coach and advisor for various student groups. She is currently the advisor of Class of 2022.
Brian Goulart
Once a Cardinal, Brian Goulart has flown back to the nest with a degree under his wing. A lifelong passion for reading and writing led him to University of California, Santa Cruz, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Creative Writing with a Minor in Education. He is fascinated by storytelling across all mediums, including the written word, music, cinema, visual art, and videogames. 
To Mr. Goulart, stories are simultaneously a mirror and a window into and through which we see and relate to ourselves, to each other, and to the world. It is his fervent belief that all students should have an opportunity to access literature with a guide and foster creative, critical, and compassionate thinking. In his free time, Mr. Goulart enjoys composing music, snapping photographs, hiking through forests, and crafting stories of his own.
Mark Holston has been teaching English at Mt. Pleasant for more than 20 years.  He has earned a B.A. in English and a Maters Degree in Educational  Leadership, and preliminary administrative credential from San Jose State University.  In 2016, Mr. Holston completed a fellowship at Yale University.
Mr. Holston is a fervent believer in the economic and intellectual transformative qualities of higher education, and as a result is a passionate advocate for helping students get accepted to college and preparing students to be successful once they have been admitted into college.  This commitment to Mt. Pleasant students’ higher education has led to his developing an SAT Language and Writing course, a course that he has taught for over 12 years.  He is also an advisor for the Cardinal Writing Center, an after school tutorial center in which students receive one on one assistance with their writing.
Blaise Olguin
Mr. Olguin, a former Mt. Pleasant student, received his Bachelor’s degree in English-Preparation for Teaching and Single Subject Credential from San Jose State University. After nearly twenty years removed from walking the halls as a high school student, he now takes his place in front of the classroom as a high school teacher. Currently, he teaches English 1 and English Language Development 2. As a long time resident of East Side Jose, he revels in the opportunity to serve his community by enriching the lives of his students using Language Arts. With a passion for poetry and a love for literature, he encourages students to examine curriculum texts and themselves. Ultimately, Mr. Olguin's goal is simple: foster academic and personal growth in his students.
Nguyen Pham
Room 812

2020-2021 School Year
Period 2  English 1A
Period 3  English 3
Period 4  Prep Period
Period 5  English 3
Period 6  English 3
Period 7  English 1A

Degree/Certification:
BA Linguistics - University of Colorado-Boulder
MA Secondary Education - SJSU
Credentials: English, Learning Disabilities

Subjects Taught:
9, 10, 11, 12, ELD, Read 180

Other Duties/Responsibilities:
Assist in Vietnamese translation in monthly Principal/Parent meetings 
Vietnamese translator for District Science Subject Area

I am very fortunate to be able to work with young adults for so many years. I particularly enjoy teaching grades 9-11 because the students are very energetic and enthusiastic about everything. Student diversity, personal interests, and academic challenges are my daily concerns, but student’s success is the ultimate goal. I hope that I can help students not only learn academic skills but also appreciate who they are and how they can contribute to their own family and community. 
Lydia Salinas received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from San Jose State University while raising three children as a single-parent. After graduating from SJSU, she entered the workforce but, years later, decided to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. She received her credential and Masters of Arts in Teaching from William Jessup University while raising her two youngest children.

Ms. Salinas values MPHS's diverse community acknowledging that each individual's unique story and voice is an integral part of each upcoming generation. She believes the adeptness students develop from real-life is a gateway for acquiring meaningful and relevant connections between the real world and the classroom. She advocates for students to build and employ 21st Century skills. These skills allow students to weigh a matter, come to a conclusion,  and finally add to collective thinking. She believes that the development of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills is paramount for every Mt. Pleasant student's future success. 
 
 
David Schwabe received his Bachelor's in English from San Jose State in 2012 and currently teaches English 1 and English 2. He is a firm believer that all students have the ability to succeed, and takes a student-centered approach to teaching that includes collaborative learning, integrating students' experiences and interests into the classroom, and creating a comfortable classroom environment where students' social-emotional needs can be supported. He aims to equip students with practical life skills, such as critical thinking and writing, as well as helping students better understand themselves and the world they live in through the power of fiction and storytelling.
Raven Sisco
Ms. Sisco received her B.A. in English Education from San Jose State University; she is currently teaching English and Creative Writing at Mt. Pleasant High School. Her professional interests include Middle/Old English, poetry, and grammar, and her recent project includes publishing her own poetry and anecdotes about teaching in her first books, Tempest and Unprecedented. In addition, she serves as the advisor for Literary Society and is a general advocate for creative writing. She recently completed her Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction through Western Governors University; she plans to use what she learned as she continues to collaborate with her colleagues and promote student achievement and confidence.
Lauri Wheeler
Unlike most of her colleagues, Lauri Wheeler started college at 36 as a single parent with three sons. Despite full-time work and school, she was West Valley College’s Valedictorian in 1999, graduating with a 4.0. GPA. She then received a B.A. in English from San Jose State University, and her M.A. in Education from the University of Phoenix. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 3.98 GPA, and her student teaching led her to ESUHSD. She has been with Mt. Pleasant High School for the past sixteen years and currently teaches ERWC and Genres of Composition. With a strong affinity for working with struggling teens, she meets her students right where they are, offering up life coping skills along with Common Core English. With a heartfelt belief in the concept that emotional healing is central to learning, Lauri provides a safe and loving environment that facilitates this healing for her students. Her professional interests focus on creative approaches to bridging the learning gaps that affect reading and writing skills, as well as how to develop and maintain connected classroom communities who support each other’s growth. In addition, she is a Safe School Ambassador and a Grizzly Academy Mentor.