Long-time English teacher to become new assistant principal, replacing Hyde
Trying to imagine the school without longtime assistant principal Karen Hyde seems almost impossible to most students and teachers. But a hiring committee recently decided to select English teacher Kerry Mohnike out of over 100 applicants to fill the job following Hyde’s retirement.
Many believe that with her experience and know-how about the school, Mohnike will be a ideal fit for the position. Mohnike will assume her new role as assistant principal on July 1.
Mohnike has worked at SHS since 1991 and has filled numerous positions aside from being a regular English teacher. She has been the English department chair, summer school principal, school site council member, journalism adviser, not to mention working on almost every committee there is. Additionally, she has taught every level of English except AP English.
Mohnike has been a key player in the development of the schools Multimedia Arts Program (MAP) from a small, fledgling program to a strong and prominent one and currently is the MAP coordinator.
Mohnike plans to tackle the job of assistant principal with enthusiasm.
“I was looking for an opportunity working with students in a whole new way and this afforded that opportunity to do that,” Mohnike said. “I thought it would be a new challenge and an exciting way to interact with students, and be involved with activities and student leadership. Also I can work on whole school issues, not just things in the classroom.”
Her passion for teaching and education stems from her love of teenagers and English.
“When I was a teenager, I loved teenagers,” Mohnike said. “The older I got, the more I realized that high school is such a pivotal time in a person’s life. I thought that if I could go and affect some lives in a positive way, they would go on to find the things they are passionate about and that appealed to me.”
According to assistant principal Brian Safine, Mohnike has already performed above and beyond in supporting the students of SHS.
She participated in the Avid program at Saratoga High, which gave support to students on their way to four-year schools, especially if the students had fallen off the typical four year college track and needed assistance. Additionally, she was involved in a program called LIFE, an integrated history and English course in which students not only learned and experienced the curriculum but also prepared for real life and world experiences.
“In every aspect of her teaching life she’s always tried to do more,” Safine said. “She’s always tried to look at what’s the next great way to get students excited about learning, what’s the next great way students are prepared for life after high school.”
Mohnike plans on forming more bonds with students and influencing them in a positive way outside of the classroom in her new role.
“I’m excited to work with the student leadership,” Mohnike said. “I am looking forward to meeting people and interacting with them in a different way and collaborating on projects which people care about and supporting them.”
The up-and-coming members of student leadership also have a positive outlook on the new year.
“Ms. Hyde has without a doubt taken care of this school for years and the ASB often looks to her for advice, but I have a feeling Ms. Mohnike will do a fantastic job as the new assistant principal,” sophomore Nikhil Goel, next year’s ASB secretary, said.
The administration is excited about having Mohnike as part of their team.
“I am thrilled to be able to work with Ms. Mohnike as part of the administrative team,” Safine said. “She is progressive, she is a thinker and she always always wants to look at different ways for doing things.”
Mohnike does have some concerns about transitioning from teaching to being an administrator.
“I’ll miss being in a classroom terribly,” Mohnike said. “Teaching is one of the best parts of my day. I think one of the greatest anxieties is that I would have to leave literature.”
Mohnike and Hyde have worked closely in their 21 years together and Mohnike is sad to see Hyde retire.
“Those students who have had her for four years as assistant principal, that is nothing in comparison with working with her for 21 years,” Mohnike said. “She leaves a big legacy and a lot of things to live up to.”
However, Hyde is not taking a complete step back; she will still be around if the need arises.
“She has promised to be close by and on speed dial so if there is a crisis we can access her,” Mohnike said.
May 31: First Period Final
June 3: Senior Awards Night
June 3: Second and Third Period Final
June 4: Fourth and Fifth Period Final
June 5: Sixth and Seventh Period Final
- Boys' tennis vs. Serra in CCS semis; girls' softball plays Milpitas for league championship; girls' lacrosse @ Paly at 7 in SCVAL playoffs.
- Boys' Tennis stunned No. 2 ranked Monta Vista 11-4 on Monday in CCS.
- Varsity baseball starts a best of 3 series with Wilcox for the League Championship. Today's game is @ Wilcox 3:30
- The swim team is competing at League Finals today at Palo Alto.
- The baseball team beat Palo Alto 4-3 on May 2, sweeping the season series against the traditional powerhouse. Kyle Dozier pitched 6 innings.