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The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill


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New Teacher Feature: Ms. Dam

Caitlyn Chau
Stay tuned for more New Teacher Features to come!

The new school year is off to a spectacular start. And with fresh starts and new beginnings, The Arcadia Quill acknowledges the new teachers joining us this year. Ms. Abigail Dam is a science teacher who teaches both Biology and Honors Biology at Arcadia High School (AHS). This is her fourth year teaching, but for the 2023-2024 school year, it is her first year teaching at AHS. The following is an interview with Ms. Dam. 

Juhi Kakarla: First of all, would you like to introduce yourself?

Ms. Dam: I am Mrs. Dam, and I teach Biology and Honors Biology. I teach the majority [of] freshmen students, but I have students of all age ranges. 

Juhi Kakarla: Okay, great. How long have you been teaching, and what school have you taught at before?

Ms. Dam: Yeah, this is my fourth year in education and the last three school years, I taught at John Burroughs High School in Burbank.

Juhi Kakarla: What inspired you to become a teacher?

Ms. Dam: I really like teaching because of all the creativity that goes into it. I’d like to think of myself as an analytical person, but I’m also very creative. So naturally, this job kind of leans to both sides. Like I’m teaching science, which is more analytical, but I get to throw in my own type of pizzazz to it, and that’s where the creative aspect comes in. But also, I always knew I wanted to have a job that was very fulfilling. And teaching is one of them. Because every day is so different, and you’re working with different students, and you’re helping them out in different ways. So I come home every day feeling very fulfilled. 

Juhi Kakarla: That’s great. So, did you always know you wanted to be a teacher?

Ms. Dam: I did not. But I always knew I wanted to be in a role where I’m helping other people. So originally, I thought, “Oh, maybe I’ll be a doctor because my parents told me to.” But then, as I went through college, and I had chances to reflect on who I am as a person, I realized that education was probably more meant for me. 

Juhi Kakarla: How is it so far at AHS? 

Ms. Dam: It is so good. I love the school so much. I’ve always known about Arcadia High School because I kind of grew up in the area. And I mean, its reputation holds. All the students are really great. The staff is great. I just feel really welcome here.

Juhi Kakarla: It’s great that you’re enjoying it so far! Do you have any hobbies that you like to do in your free time when you’re not teaching? 

Ms. Dam: Yes, I love doing a lot of stuff. One of them is pickleball. I started doing that with my friends. But we’re definitely not professionals. I never played tennis; I don’t play ping pong, but I’ll play pickleball because it’s like right in the middle of those two. I love trying new foods and eating out at different restaurants. I’m a big foodie. I love hanging out with my family and friends. I like reading whenever I have a quiet moment; that always kind of re-energizes me. I also like hanging out with my cat. I binge-watch Netflix. I do all sorts of stuff.

Juhi Kakarla: That’s amazing! So many different hobbies. So, what is your favorite part about teaching, and what do you think is the most important part about learning?

Ms. Dam: My favorite part about teaching is that every day is different, and every day can be catered to what my students need. I think the most important part about learning is not always memorizing all the facts that are given to you, but it’s really getting the skills to critically think and problem solve. And because those skills translate into your life more than just remembering all these biology vocab words, I think it’s just important to learn how to solve problems.

Juhi Kakarla: Last question, are there any challenges that have you gone through as a teacher that are really memorable to you?

Ms. Dam: What’s a good one! I would say I love “connecting” with students… I think people are people and when you get to know them enough, you kind of learn so much more about who they are than just what you see on the outside. So there’ve been several students in my past that came in with this hardcore attitude. But at the end of the day, they’re like the sweetest students. 

Juhi Kakarla: Thank you so much for the interview. It was so nice to meet you, Ms. Dam.


Photo by Caitlyn Chau

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