Career Technical Education (CTE) instructional leader Patrick O’Hara has been on leave since November, causing some rearrangement in the CTE department both in the classes he was teaching and in his role of instructional leader.
Journalism teacher Paul Kandell and math teacher Diana Chute have temporarily filled the position of CTE instructional leader until O’Hara returns. Administrators say they don’t know when O’Hara will return, and O’Hara could not be reached for comment.
O’Hara was teaching Business Law, Business Entrepreneurship and Game Design before his leave. Rick Armstrong Shaul, also known as Mr. Rick by students, is substituting for Business Law and Business Entrepreneurship.
Assistant Principal Tom Keating, the administrator responsible for overseeing CTE, said he is grateful to have Shaul as a sub at Paly, since he has a background in computer science, startups and the greater business world.
“He is a great long-term sub because he has a mix of practical experiences, and he can plug in those areas,” Keating said.
Unlike Business Law and Business Entrepreneurship, Game Design went through multiple temporary substitutes before finding a consistent teacher in Ashcan Ehsanipour, also known as Mr. E.
According to senior Maryanne Fu, who took a semester of Game Design, and senior Lauren Krieger, who is taking the year-long Game Design course, there were about five different subs before Ehsanipour arrived half way through first semester.
Having a long-term sub who lacks experience in game design caused the class to get off track and not follow the planned curriculum, Fu said.
After Ehsanipour finished subbing for the first semester, Christopher Kuszmaul, who previously taught game design at Paly, returned from leave to teach the class for second semester.
Krieger said Kuszmaul has been developing the curriculum as they go and she has begun to learn the things she signed up for, but she said she dreads the class at the same time because the environment this semester is so different from last semester.
“After so long of having limited instructions, everyone got used to doing whatever they wanted. But now there’s structures and rules we have to follow, and everyone’s just really reluctant to listen.”
Senior Lauren Krieger
Principal Adam Paulson said despite the problems from first semester, he anticipates no more issues in the CTE department this year. Paulson said, “We will staff accordingly this year and next year with high quality teachers as we always do.”