Dear Parents of the Class of 2021,
This is a first in my career: beginning a third year at a school site. If you haven't heard, or if you didn't believe me when I told you this past year, Holy Angels "feels like home." I don't mean to be corny, but I can't think of a better way to tell you all how enthusiastic I am about returning to teach yet again. Furthermore, I hope this highlights the notion that this school and your kids are not "just a job" for me.
Past familiarities aside, or not, allow me to officially introduce myself. My name is Elijah Ziomek. I was born and raised in and around the Mt. Washington neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles. 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 La Salle High School, like a number of the shareholders in this community. This would solve part of the mystery as to what my personal connection is with you all here at Holy Angels School. My laundry list of alma maters are as follows: St. Bernard School (Glassell Park, '04); La Salle High School (Pasadena, ’08); Occidental College (Eagle Rock, ’12); and Mount St. Mary’s University (DTLA, ’18). I have been involved in teaching for seven years now, all immediately following my years at Occidental. Prior to coming to Holy Angels in 2017, I taught two years of Sixth and Seventh Grade English at St. Anastasia School, fulfilling a very similar role as the one I have been serving here at Holy Angels. Before that, I got my start and taught for two years as a Fourth Grade teacher at St. Malachy School in Huntington Park; my earliest days of teaching consisted of one year of substituting for Immaculate Heart High School.
As for my credentials in teaching, in June of 2017, I acquired my Preliminary Credential in Secondary English Education from MSMU. More importantly, I also obtained my M.S. in Education from "the Mount" in March of 2018. This year, I am beginning a Clear Credential program to cement my qualifications as a teacher. (This following a much-needed hiatus from schooling to focus on that thing called "real life." So far so good, people tell me.)
Ultimately, I am a Catholic school student turned Catholic school teacher, and I am humbled to be an educator of your children. All the history, literature, and experiences I've ever encountered tell me this is as sacred--and as unique--a relationship as those of the bonds of family. I am serious about this vocation I have chosen, and if you cannot tell already, allow me to confirm the notion that my heart is very well tied to the well-being and success of your children.
Thank you all once again for having me as a part of the Holy Angels family. Here's to fortitude for us while online schooling! Here's to hope for a return to our schools!
Attended: Occidental College; Mt. St. Mary’s University
Degrees: B.A. English; M.S. Education
Credential: California Preliminary (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);
7th Grade Teacher (Holy Angels, 2017-Present)
I have been teaching in some capacity since I graduated from Occidental College in 2012. 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. In this 7-year career, thus far, I have found that my greatest joy comes from the knowledge that my students feel safe and excited to come to school every day to learn and live in community with myself and each another. It is my foremost goal to ensure that when they leave each day, they’ve felt heard by either myself or one of their peers; that they’ve learned something about themselves or the world around them. As a 7th Grade 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, primary texts and reference books, or even their very own experiences. In this way, I expect them to develop a sense and a structure for their own individual voices before they become the leaders of their school a year later, and representatives of their families in the years that follow.
On a personal note, I love reading, writing, playing music or sports, and cooking; however, I spend most of my free time with family and friends. I currently live in Glendale, and I am returning member of the San Gabriel Valley community, being a graduate of La Salle High School (’08).