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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Their Alma Mater Never Changed

Since Los Osos High School (LOHS) has been open for 22 years, there have been many students who have walked the same campus that you are currently on. 

While many of them have gone off to do bigger and better things, some of our alumni have remained on our campus, as teachers. 

“It is really special to feel like I’m continuing a legacy that started with my class, [since] I was a freshman the first year the school opened. Sometimes it’s difficult to see students who aren’t connected to a team and don’t feel a sense of pride in our campus, leaving their trash lying around or tagging walls, being unkind to their classmates and teachers, because they just don’t see or understand what a privilege it is to be part of this school community. I feel like that would change if everyone found their place in a team, whether in the arts, athletics, or club. I teach choir because I’ve experienced what a worthwhile experience it is. I would love for everyone to have that opportunity,” said Mrs. Encina, Director of Choirs. 

Most of the relationships on campus were treasured from the time that the teachers attended LOHS, till now. This is especially the case for Mr. and Mrs. Encina who met on LOHS’ campus. 

Band Director, Mr. Encina said, “If I’m honest, some of my favorite high school experiences involve times I had with (at the time) the future Mrs. Encina. I met her when we were both in the band program at LOHS, and it’s certainly an unexpected but wonderful experience being able to teach right next door to her in the same building where we met.” 

The Encinas and Ms. Martz have similar full-circle moments both ending up teaching the places that they started in. 

“I was in what is now known as Grizzly Achievement. I loved doing the rallies and being able to recognize students in that way. It’s cool because obviously, I am an advisor now for it. It’s a cool experience bridging those two things,” said Ms. Martz, Psychology Teacher and GA Advisor. 

Most high school students are so excited to leave Osos as soon as they graduate so just imagine how these teachers felt to come back to a place where they experienced a lot of memories, yet a ton of stress. 

Mr. Encina mentioned it felt weird to be back on campus after such a long time but he no longer focuses on this. 

“I can look around the campus and recall a trove of memories everywhere. I remember all of my old hangout spots with my friends, places where I ate my lunch, navigating the halls in the C building and trying not to bump into anyone, and it’s been an honor being able to usher the band program into a new era as well,” he said. 

It is amazing to see all of our alumni venture off but this was only made possible with the amazing staff on campus who helped prepare them for their future. We are so lucky to have a school with a diverse population with 100+ clubs and several different programs to allow you to find your interest. 

Mr. Encina stated that LOHS helped him never be late for anything anymore. He stated that the busy schedule at school helped prepare him for the adult world. He knows that adults are always busy in their lives regardless of whether it is their career or home life. 

“Being busy isn’t so bad though. And getting used to being busy sooner than later is a very important thing,” he said. 

Mrs. Encina also agrees that the skills that she gained from the performing arts helped her in the adult world, like “…punctuality, communication, teamwork, time management, creative problem solving, balance… the list goes on,” she said. 

Other than the diversity on our campus, Mr. Encina mentioned that the facilities on campus have improved greatly.

“The exteriors of the school weren’t painted, if you can believe it, so they were just solid cinder block buildings. I feel that the administration is also making bigger strides to improve the socio-emotional learning of the student body as well. Being a teenager is still similar but altogether different than when I was one, and I hope the school continues to move with the ebb and flow of the change in the times for the sake of the students,” Encina said. 

They all have valuable insight into what LOHS looked like and how it has changed over the years that it has been opened. The advice they have to offer is powerful. They all stressed being involved in the school community, no matter what your interests are. 

Mr. Encina said, “Get plugged into a club or an extracurricular or some sort of community that’s not simply in your regular classloader. You’ll make lifelong friends that way, and help you grow into a different and better person.”

“JOIN A PERFORMING ART. I absolutely cannot recommend it enough. Being part of a team that creates together is the peak human experience, in my opinion. There’s absolutely nothing like singing in a choir. It is good for you in every way. We have outstanding performing arts on this campus – award-winning, and recognized as leaders in our region. You should be part of our teams,” Mrs. Encina said. 

All of our alumni have been given amazing support to help them venture into the world, however, these specific ones have just chosen to give back to their community. 

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