Letter to Parents
Dear Parents of the Class of 2024,
My name is Elijah John Ziomek. I was born and raised in the Mt. Washington neighborhood and spent my youth all around the Northeast Los Angeles area. Knowing where someone hails from says a lot, I suppose, so it might also be interesting for some of you to know that I went to a Catholic grade school myself from K-8 (St. Bernard in Glassell Park) and went on to attend La Salle High School, a school that I know is much more familiar to those of you within this community. The full laundry list of my alma maters is as follows: St. Bernard School (Glassell Park, '04); La Salle High School (Pasadena, ’08); Occidental College (Eagle Rock, ’12); Mount St. Mary’s University (DTLA, ’18), and Concordia University (Irvine, '21).
Speaking of my professional career, this will be my tenth year as a teacher of students ranging from fourth grade through twelfth, all of which have transpired immediately following my years at Occidental. It will be my eighth year teaching junior high in a Catholic School setting, but my experience has taken me to almost every part of the Archdiocese, including Los Feliz, Huntington Park, Playa del Ray, Glendale, and now Arcadia. While I do not want to undermine my Secondary Education Credential or M.S. in Education, I do wish to emphasize the value of my wide experience with various students of all ages. No college could ever prepare me so well, but the combination of both knowledge and wisdom has been a blessing to be sure.
Ultimately, I would say that I am a Catholic school student turned Catholic school teacher, and I am both honored and pleased to be an educator of your children. All the history, literature, and experience that I've acquired tells me this is as sacred--and as unique--a relationship as those of the bonds of family. I am serious about this vocation, and if you cannot tell already from my activity around Holy Angels in the past five years (or from what the little birdies have whispered from the grapevines), allow me to state openly that my heart is very well tied to the well-being and success of your children. My future children will one day inherit this same world as yours. It is my understanding that our destinies are tied, and I intend to lead our children toward a vision of a world that is both bright and prosperous through the use of their own God-given talents.
I look forward to seeing, speaking, and working with you all in the year to come.
Attended: Occidental College; Mt. St. Mary’s University; Concordia University (Irvine, online)
Degrees: B.A. English; M.S. Education
Credential: Clear California Credential (Secondary English Instruction)
Substitute Teacher (Immaculate Heart H.S. 2012-13);
4th Grade Teacher (St. Malachy, 2013-15);
7th Grade Teacher (St. Anastasia, 2015-17);
Summer School Instructor (Holy Family H.S., 2017-Present)
7th Grade Teacher (Holy Angels, 2017-Present)
One of my greatest passions for as long as I’ve known has been reading books and writing stories, so I decided that I would probably enjoy being a teacher of the unique, wonderful language that is English. I was correct in my predictions, and I would describe my time making that dream a reality as being nothing short of a Blessing. I have found that the greatest joy comes from the knowledge that my students feel comfortable and excited to come to school every day, to learn and live in a family-oriented community with one another, reciprocating the very positivity and diligence I myself seek to model for them as their teacher. It is my foremost goal to ensure that when they leave each day, they’ve felt heard by either me or one of their own peers and that they’ve learned something new about themselves and the world around them.
As a teacher, I do expect students to listen to and engage the voices of the people and concepts we use for study—in the forms of novels, nonfiction texts, and the textbooks, or even from their very own experiences. Similarly, I expect them to gain an understanding and respect for the various opinions and viewpoints that every single person brings into the classroom. In this way, I expect that they will develop a clear sense of their own voice before they become the leaders of their school a year later and representatives of their families in the years that follow.
In addition to reading and writing, I do love playing music and sports, and cooking has become an outlet of mine as well. I spend most of my free time with family and friends, and I currently live in Sierra Madre with my wife, "Ms. Jackie."
If you're ever around Holy Angels, please feel free to strike up a conversation with me.