Lower enrollment means fewer teachers for upcoming school year


Photo by: Rhiannan Ruef

The Cam High group staff photo, featuring several teachers that will not be returning for the 2015-2016 school year.

Starting in the fall of 2015, Mr. Jonathan McCabe, Mr. Matthew Doyle, and Mrs. Laurel Smith-Michel will be leaving Cam High to teach at other high schools in the district due to Cam High’s dropping enrollment rates, which is attributed to the scheduled opening of nearby Rancho Campana High School.

The Oxnard Union High School District relies on staff seniority to determine which teachers to transfer when faced with shifting enrollment numbers. In other words, teachers who have worked for the district the longest are least likely to be unwillingly transferred, while newer teachers are the first to go.

McCabe, science teacher of five years at Cam High, will be transferred to Channel Islands High School for the 2015-2016 school year. McCabe said he has enjoyed his time teaching at Cam. “[The best thing about Cam High] is being with staff members who care about their students,” he said. “Everybody wants to excel. I’ll miss my students, and I’ll miss seeing students I’ve had before.”

He is not leaving disadvantaged, however. Along with already living in the Channel Island neighborhood, McCabe also knows the Channel Island science department staff. “I think I’ll make the best of a bummer situation,” he said. “I like teaching science because it opens up students’ eyes to the things around them.”

Mr. Matthew Doyle is being transferred to Pacifica High School. “Obviously, I’m not excited to leave, but I am looking forward to bettering my teaching skills in a new environment and with new colleagues,” he said.

“It is stressful because it’s a new school and a new campus,” said Doyle. “I don’t even know what I’ll be teaching.” Despite these difficulties, he is trying to put a positive spin by seeing the situation as “breaking out of the bubble of Cam High.”

Senior Nick Castro has been Doyle’s aid for the entirety of senior year and has gotten to know him well during that time. “The relationship between me and Doyle has grown to be more than just that of a teacher and student,” he said. “We have grown to become very good friends.”

“Probably my most memorable Doyle moment was when everyone in the class was taking the AP test except me, and Doyle and I were the only ones in class that day. We just sat in class and played ‘Everlong’ by the Foo Fighters and Nirvana music.”

“As his aid, I have been with him every step of the way, and [his transfer] affects me because I’m graduating,” said Castro. “With Doyle gone, it’s one less person I will see when I come back and visit.”

Smith-Michel will also be transferring to another school after working seven years at Cam High, though she declined to comment as to where she will be going.