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Spanish teacher becomes new House B Assistant Principal

Sophia Goldberg sports editor

Last year, students knew him as the new Spanish teacher in room 250. Now, Chris Regan works as assistant principal of House B, with years of administrative experience under his belt.

Teaching Spanish

Before becoming an assistant principal, Regan taught Spanish, a language he found his passion for while studying in high school, at Calabasas High School.

“I started taking Spanish classes in high school and had some really great teachers who got me excited about the language. Then I went to the University of Puget Sound, where I majored in Spanish. I had really good Spanish teachers there and learned a lot,” Regan said. “I did a semester program in Toledo, Spain, in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame and the University of Minnesota. I then received my teaching credential from Pepperdine University.”

Lisa Dickens, a chemistry and physics teacher, has known Regan since 1999, when they both taught at Calabasas High School. She feels confident that Regan will contribute his expertise to Beverly through his understanding and enthusiasm in and around the classroom.

“I know he is a very enthusiastic person and that he really likes kids. I know that he is a very organized person and, already, I think he has shown that he is on top of what is going on around here, which I really appreciate. I think that he has the experience and the knowledge to do a good job,” Dickens said.

Sophomore Rebekah Sheff had Regan as a teacher last year. She feels as though Regan’s teaching methods allowed students to feel comfortable learning the language. Although she is sad that Regan will no longer be a Spanish teacher, Sheff believes his leadership qualities will suit Beverly well.

“As a Spanish teacher, Señor Regan was great at allowing his students to feel comfortable in his class. He taught us in a way where the students could feel free to participate,” Sheff said. “I think he is honestly a better fit to our school as an assistant principal because of his apparent leadership qualities. Even though we may miss him as Señor, he is doing great as an administrator so far.”

Role in Administration

Regan became the assistant principal of the middle school program at Malibu High School in 2014, working alongside current House A Assistant Principal Phil Wenker (who was the assistant principal of the high school program) and current Assistant Superintendent of Construction and Facilities David Jackson (who was the high school’s principal).

Jackson knows that Regan’s experience as an administrator in Las Virgenes Unified and Malibu-Santa Monica Unified School Districts will serve the Beverly community well.

“I allowed [Regan] the flexibility to not just be the assistant principal, but also to do a lot of principal duties. I had two phenomenal assistant principals which allowed me to deal with what I had really been hired for,” Jackson said. “For him, [being assistant principal] is like riding a bike.”

When Regan was hired to teach Spanish 1/2 last year, he recalled that many staff members asked for his advice, one of them being principal Mark Mead, who was a first-year administrator. Being able to answer his colleagues’ questions showed Regan that he enjoyed working in administration.

“Working with Mr. Mead reminded me that I enjoyed being an assistant principal: that I enjoyed working with kids, but also working with adults. It’s the best of both worlds for me because I get to deal with the kids, but I also still get to deal with the adult issues,” Regan said.

This Year’s Goals

One of Regan’s goals is to integrate technology into the classroom. Regan sees the school’s lack of technology as a problem from a lack of funds and a sparse technology department given the task of overseeing its maintenance.

“Technology grows so fast and goes obsolete so quickly that you have to constantly find funds to replace, repair and support all of the technology,” Regan said. “Our technology department is phenomenal, but they’re small. We have one person to monitor all the computers on campus; it’s a lot of work for one person to do.”

Regan says one way to increase the use of technology in the classroom is to educate the teachers on free, easy ways of doing so. According to Regan, there are a plethora of online resources available to teachers through publishing companies and just in Google that can help teachers present their lessons in fun, interactive ways.

“It’s the digital native versus the digital immigrant. Kids can go pick up technology and figure it out, whereas a lot of the older generation are afraid of technology. It’s showing teachers that there is so much you can do with technology, like using the resources that are available to them for free online and through the textbook publishers just to find more interesting ways to present the curriculum to students,” Regan said. “Obviously, the teacher lecturing for 50 minutes doesn’t work for students these days.”

Regan’s role as assistant principal allows him to work with athletics, activities and performing arts, three departments that Regan believes allow students to feel involved in school, his other major goal for Beverly.

“Getting the kids involved in school in some way [is my biggest goal]. I think that helps the school in general, but it also helps the kid. It makes them feel at home and safe, and then also makes them want to perform well academically, socially and extracurricularly,” Regan said. “It gives them a sense of community and makes them feel proud about our school, and that’s what I want.”

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