AP Art History and Honors English II teacher Kelly Ortiz will be the new advisor for the 2019-2020 school year, taking the place of current ASB Advisors Mr. Garrett and Dr. Raleigh.
LVUSD financial restrictions have resulted in the changing of the overall structure of the Associated Student Body (ASB) class at CHS and Agoura High School (AHS); both classes will have a single advisor next year, and the class size will be reduced to roughly 30 students. Ortiz is returning as advisor, having advised ASB between 2001 and 2007. Ortiz stepped down in 2007 for personal reasons.
“I had gotten married and my life was changing a little bit so I didn’t want all the time commitments,” said Mrs. Ortiz. “It was a good time to take a break and focus on teaching and not do all the other stuff.”
Dr. Raleigh, a math teacher, was the sole advisor prior to partnering up with theater teacher, Mr. Garrett, in 2001. Dr. Raleigh was originally inspired to take on the class due to the positive demeanor of the students in ASB.
“[Ms. Ortiz] had a really great set of homeroom representatives, and the student who came into my class was very compelling,” said Dr. Raleigh. “The students enjoyed hearing what she had to say. She talked about school culture, and I had a really great experience that way. Seeing students do things other than just preparing for tests was something I really enjoyed.”
Mr. Garrett echoed Dr. Raleigh and has a great love for all the pair have accomplished in their ten years of advising together.
“I love seeing the students organize these different events and then enjoy the actual events coming together,” said Mr. Garrett. “It’s really rewarding, and I think they get so much real world experience in this class. And there are so many steps that go into organizing these events that most students wouldn’t even realize.”
In recent years, the district has had difficulty paying two advisors, both at CHS and AHS, so the model of the ASB class and the number of sections given to each advisor began to change. According to Assistant Principal Sara Exner, the 2018-2019 financial model for ASB has changed entirely and will change once again for the following year.
“They way the model is this year is that student money, your money, is paying for a section,” said Ms. Exner. “We felt that that was not fair to the students. The money needs to be utilized in a different manner, and the same model was being followed at Agoura. Everybody knew that we would use this model for one year and then we would not use it anymore. Knowing this change, Mr. Garrett and Dr. Raleigh decided that if we are going to change the current model, neither of them can do it because they both need each other to do different things, and so they decided that this would be there last year.”
Anticipating the departures of Garrett and Raleigh, Exner and Principal CJ Foss recruited Ortiz because of her previous experience as adviser.
“[W]e asked [Ortiz], now that her kids are older, if she would like to be the ASB advisor,” said Ms. Exner. “She thought for a few weeks and then she said that she would love to take it on again, so it is kind of a cool transition. Ms. Ortiz used to be the advisor, then Dr. Raleigh took the position, then Dr. Raleigh and Mr. Garrett became partners, and now its going back to Ms. Ortiz.”
Ms. Ortiz is excited to take on this role once again, and she intends to change the class structure very moderately with input from the class officers. Her goal is to improve what is already in place and allow every CHS student an opportunity to thrive in ASB.
“I’m hoping the class understands the need for some change and some shifting of commissioner positions,” said Ms. Ortiz. “The big change will be the number of students because there will only be one advisor as opposed to two; we will reduce commissioner positions that don’t need as many kids and can be just as effective with less students. I need to see what the expectations are of the class officers, so we can go from there in terms of bringing in any other change. I’m not coming in to start all over; we are going to work with what we have and go from there.”
While current ASB students are somewhat shocked by this change, they are making sure to have an optimistic outlook on the situation as a whole. Junior Sam Ende is running for ASB President for next year, and he is doing just that.
“I am really sad because Mr. Garrett and Dr. Raleigh have had such a positive impact on my high school experience the past two years; but at the same time I am excited for the change and for Ms. Ortiz to join the team,” said Ende. “We are a bunch of fun spirited people but we are hard working and ready to make the campus a better place with the help of Ms. Ortiz.”
While they are sad, Mr. Garrett and Dr. Raleigh are also very thankful for the opportunity to have been the advisors for the past ten years and wish nothing but the best for this year’s class and for the many future classes.
“I love ASB and I hope ASB continues to do incredibly well because I know at the heart of it all, it is about student life and making student’s experiences here at CHS as enjoyable as possible,” said Mr. Garrett. “I feel really good about what we have done in our time here and if there is ever a change back to the two person structure, I would be thrilled to be a part of it again.”
When asked if she has anything to share for students now who are thinking about joining ASB next year, Ms. Ortiz’s answer was both encouraging and inspiring.
“I think people who wouldn’t normally think to try out for ASB should try out,” said Ms. Ortiz. “I think it’s a great opportunity to be a part of your school. Don’t think that the intention is for it to be cliquey, even though sometimes it does get cliquey, I think it’s great when we have new faces and new voices and new people. I think go for it. Be the change!”