This autumn, don’t ‘fall’ behind on getting to know Northwood’s new staff


Aya Takase-Songui

WARM SMILES ALL AROUND: Nathan Parr, Jordan Tyo, Soo Sim, Nathalie Nguyen, Catherine Cali, Kyle Ennis and London Carter (left to right) smile in anticipation for the coming year. Bailey Phenicie overlooks student files (left) while Ennis catches up on emails (right).

Jaycee Hendrickson, Sports Editor

Every year, Northwood bustles with energy as it prepares to welcome the incoming class of freshmen. Orientation days, link crew and parent meetings all recognize the newest additions to Northwood’s community… but sometimes we miss welcoming our new teachers. This year, Northwood has eight new staff members.

Kyle Ennis – Ed Specialist
Nathan Parr – Ed Specialist
Soo Sim – Ed Specialist
Jordan Tyo – Science
Bailey Phenicie – Counselor
London Carter – Psych
Nathalie Nguyen – Math
Catherine Cali – Comp Sci

Counselor Bailey Phenicie spent the past year with Northwood to earn her teaching credentials and a Masters in school counseling from UCI. Kyle Ennis, an education specialist and new coach for Northwood’s wrestling team, also joined the Northwood community this year. His prior exposure to serving others helped him discover a passion for teaching that he hopes to fulfill here at Northwood. Joining the mathematics department is Nathalie Nguyen, who teaches AP Statistics and Math 2. She began her career at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove, where she taught algebra before deciding to transition towards Northwood.

The Howler: What inspired you to pursue a career in teaching?

Nathalie Nguyen: “I didn’t decide to teach until the end of my fourth year in college. I wanted to be an actuary and they work with insurance; it’s very business, math, economics—very applied and corporate. I realized in a funny way that actuaries have to take a bunch of exams and one of them had a 13 page formula sheet and I was like… do I want to learn 13 pages of formulas? I don’t think so. I felt like I wanted to work with people and make a difference… Being a teacher was kind of the first option I had because I still wanted to do math and stats.”

Kyle Ennis: “I have always wanted to help people. When I lived in Huntington Beach, I started a charity to get homeless people off the street and I caught the bug to help people there. I wanted to make it my life, so I decided to go and just help people that needed it and it led to me working in special education in Huntington Beach. When I started working in that environment, it made me want to become a teacher because I can help keep people off the streets by providing them with education.”

TH: What drew you to work at Northwood?

KE: “I finished my degree at California State University, Long Beach and because I’m not a fully credentialed teacher yet I put my name out there for internships and Irvine was the first one to respond. I did some research on this school and saw that it was a cutting-edge program as far as the kind of education they’re putting these kids through and it really caught my eye, so I decided to pursue working here.”

Bailey Phenicie: “Honestly, it was all fate. I had to figure out where I was going to do my internship in the middle of the year, and my program required me to do five days a week. I did two days at IVA for a little bit and then three days here, and it was only because the other intern happened to leave in the middle of the year. I had reached out to the person who managed internships for IUSD and Ms. Ostovapour was the one who reached out to me and said they were looking for someone.”

TH: What have you noticed about our school culture?

NN: “I think the students here are very motivated, that’s what I’ve noticed right off the bat. I think even a little too motivated- I would love for them to exercise a little more self-care and put some time into themselves because I see the pressure of ‘when do I get the test back’ and ‘how do I get this one point back.’ I would love for them to relax a little bit more, have more fun with it and not just worry about scores. But yeah, the students here are awesome. They’re really well balanced, motivated, have lots of compassion and I’m excited to see where all of us go.”

KE: “I’ve noticed that the kids are super cool, everybody is really nice, everybody kind of works together and in every classroom I’m in, the environment is just positive. I also do the wrestling program here and being able to work with those kids as well, they’re kind of helping me with getting in on the culture and getting me around with all the other students and it’s just super positive. I love it.”