Teachers and their children share a campus


McKenna Aram

Since the commencement of Granite Bay High School, a multitude of teachers’ children have attended the school contemporaneously.

“It’s been great (having them here),” said GBHS teacher Brandon Dell’Orto, who has had two sons take his Advanced Placement United States History class. “When they were little, I always thought it would be cool to have my kids at school because I had always seen others teachers have their kids at school.”

At many schools, it may be seen as unusual for teachers to have their children attend the high school they work at, but at GBHS, it’s just the contrary.

In fact, at the end of every school year, there is a luncheon held for teachers that have kids at the school.

“Every staff member that has a kid gets up and gets to say thank you to all of the faculty, and even our kids can come and say thank you,” said GBHS physics teacher Steve Miller, who currently has two daughters at school. “It’s really something I look forward to. It’s a neat tradition. It really shows we value family on this campus.”

As of 2016, there are eight teachers that have children on campus: David Tastor, Suchi Krishnaraj, John MacLeane, Jason Sitterud, Brandon Dell’Orto, Steve Miller, Jill Cova and Dale Mortensen.

“I get to keep all of my crap in his room, steal his lunch and I have a microwave in here,” said GBHS junior Jason Dell’Orto, who is currently enrolled in his dad’s AP U.S. History course. “Honestly it’s nice having him here, and if I’m ever confused on something, I can just ask.”

Many of the teachers’ kids agree that a majority of the pros of having a parent-teacher on campus include easy access to food, a place to relax during school hours and asking questions when confused on class content.

“Some of my favorite memories with my dad include Homecoming freshman year,” junior Maddie Tastor said, whose father is GBHS English teacher David Tastor. “Ever since I was little, I have been attending Homecoming games and rallies and to experience that as a high school student (with my) dad is like icing on the cake.”

Nearly all of the parent-teachers claim it was never even a thought to send their kids to a different school. Their position as a teacher at the school merely enhanced the benefits of working at GBHS.

“We gave our kids a choice as to what school they wanted to go,” Miller said. “Our oldest, Gabby, responded, ‘why are you even asking me?’ It was a no brainer, they grew up here.”

However, ups and downs are inevitable, and teachers claim there have always been a few complications.

“When (my daughters) were in my class, sometimes they would call me ‘dad’ and I would go no, it’s Mr. Miller, and so that was hard for them to adjust to,” Miller said. “If I can separate my professional life from my social life, I told my kids they could do that in my classroom too.”

Teachers have access to all student grades, making it easier for teachers with kids at the school to check up on how their kids are faring.

“I was a little nervous having my kid in my class because you don’t want to fail your kid, but they both stepped up and did pretty well with that,” GBHS health teacher John MacLeane said.

Although most teachers are enthralled with the idea of having their child in their classroom, there have always been a few complications.

“He’s the first to know when I’m in trouble,” junior Joey MacLeane said. “Another con is almost every teacher at the school knows my name.”

Aside from getting into trouble, issues with grades and social situations are also prevalent in relation to the situation.

“I was in my mom’s Honors Chemistry class (and she) was really hard on me and pushed me to understand all of the concepts,” said senior Ashwini Ganapathi, whose mother is chemistry teacher Suchi Krishnaraj. “The only problem was when I would do bad on a test — I felt like I let her down.”

However, some teachers find it preferable to not enroll their kids in their class and vice versa.

“I’ve never been in my dad’s class and never will because he doesn’t want me in his class,” junior Tyson Sitterud said whose dad, Jason Sitterud, teaches CP English 9.

Likewise, sophomore Spencer Cova requested to have a different Spanish teacher from his mother, Jill Cova.

Yet overall, according to the 13 students and 8 teachers on campus, the majority have said it has been an incredible experience to have each other on campus.

“Every job has its perks,” Dell’ Orto said. “Some jobs you get to go to Hawaii, some jobs you get lunches out, some jobs you get to have a company car. This job you get to see how they’re doing in school and get to help them go through that process.”