Cam High has been around since the 1950’s. From Olympic gold medalist Jessica Mendoza, class of 1998, to Grammy Award winner, Jerry Finn, class of 1987, students of Cam High have left their mark in the world, but the most endearing alumni are the ones that come back; the teachers of Cam High today.
“The campus alone has changed a lot,” says Ms. Linda Westbrook, class of 1985. “Students are more mature and teachers engage more with students.” Westbrook believes that her experience as a student at Cam High helps her understand how the students feel.
Mr. Tom Taketa, class of 1994, said, “The student body is more diverse and the general student body is much nicer.”
Ms. Joanne Chang, class of 1993, also acknowledges that the campus has grown for the better. “I remember when there was no library for three years and there were telephone booths.”
Being a teacher at Cam High today, Chang did not plan on returning to the campus. “I didn’t plan on coming back, but this is my 11th year and I am happy working here with the old teachers.” As department chair for special education and teaching a class herself, Chang claims that, “kids with special needs are more tolerant.” Chang also respects students showing the willingness to teach. “I highly recommend it and I am willing to be your mentor.”
Ms. Adrienne Brasted, class of 1983, recognizes the improved ethics that Cam High has had over the years. “There is a lot more emphasis on teaching and getting students to do better,” said Brasted. “In our days it was alright to fail. There was no safety net to catch you.” Brasted went on to say that “Camarillo High is like home.”
Rianna Smith, senior, is considering becoming a teacher and feels that being a part of the alumni would be interesting. “It’s nice to come back to where you began, so I might come back and teach here,” said Smith.
Thalia Ramirez, junior, thinks that she would like teaching the junior class if she were to come back and educate. “Mr. Ropes is a teacher that inspires me. He truly cares and he treats students like their age. I would take his teaching styles into consideration.”
The alumni represent a continuous cycle of students experiencing high school together, a select few of whom return for the benefit of future graduating classes. “I am here for the students, they are the captain of the ship,” said Taketa.