Welcoming new and familiar faces


Matthew Dimaandal

OH, HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED: Pang, a former student of AP Government at Northwood High School, now teaches the same subject to current and future generations of Northwood students.

Yejin Heo, Staff Writer

This fall, Northwood welcomed 18 new teachers to our campus. Although their few months of teaching at Northwood seem brief in comparison to our returning teachers, they strive to support students in the same way, both in and beyond their classrooms. 

Zane Pang is a Northwood alumni who now teaches Humanities 9 History as well as AP Government and Political Econ. He credits his high school teachers—particularly Steve Plette, who now teaches alongside Pang—for enriching his high school experience and influencing his decision to become a teacher. 

“When I was debating on what I wanted to become when I was in college, I remembered my positive experiences with my history and political science teachers here and in college,” Pang said. 

Additionally, he was involved in many of the Northwood activities like cross country, volleyball, Model United Nations, National History Day and drama that his current students are participating in. 

“It’s weird to say this after meeting a teacher for less than two weeks, but I truly feel inspired by Mr. Pang,” senior Justin Kim said. “He’s a teacher who composes himself in a very professional yet inviting way, creating an atmosphere beyond the classroom setting to teach what it means to be an informed citizen in the real world.” 

Pang reciprocates the gratitude, citing that his favorite part about Northwood is that his students “are just really cool.” He carries his easy-going and good-natured personality with him to the classroom, crediting interactions with students one of the largest reasons he became a teacher.  

Another familiar face has also returned to campus this year: Sarah Smith. She was science teacher David Monge’s long-term substitute teacher last year but now is a full-time Anatomy & Physiology and Integrated Science 1 teacher. Her teaching philosophy stems from two acronyms: KIP (Knowledge is power) and ABLE (Always be learning everything).

“It works as a teacher and also as a student.” Smith said. “If you work with those philosophies, you’ll see that learning, sharing and trusting in the power of knowledge is key.”

Even in a few short months as a temporary teacher, Smith’s classes gained a reputation of their own on campus. Her class atmosphere could be filled anywhere between notoriously entertaining banter about alien movies to meaningful discussion about astronomy to an energized silence during tests. 

One of her previous students, senior Shinhye Park, reflects on her experience in Honors Integrated Science 3 with Smith. 

“Even though it was her first year student-teaching, I could tell how much effort she was putting into the class,” Park said.

Northwood and its students welcome and wish good luck to our new teachers. We are already appreciative of the knowledge and care they are bringing to Northwood.