The Garfield Messenger

Get to Know.

A look into the lives of teachers outside of school.

Esther Chien

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Ms. Cohan
Q: What do you do outside of school?
A: I always sing in the car and I’m super talented.
Q: What is one thing about you most students don’t know?
A: I don’t like leaving tzxzdhe house. I hate crowds. I’m terrible at holding a conversation; it’s exhausting.
Q: What was the most memorable encounter with a student outside of school?
A: [At the Pagliacci in Madison Park], the moment I opened the door there was a multiple voice
chorus of “Ms. Cohan!” I immediately shut the door asked [my friend] if we could go somewhere else.

Mr.  Johnson
Q: What activities do you do?
A:  I play soccer on a men’s team once a week [with] 3 or 4 other teachers.
Q: What is one thing about you most people don’t know?
A: I took sewing and cooking lessons all the way through middle school.
Q: How does teaching play a part in who you are as a father?
A: Being a teacher helps me understand more what kids are going through, what challenges [they are facing] and helps me be more empathetic, patient, [and] compassionate. The skills of being a teacher are aligned with being a parent.

Mr. Simoneaux
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I’m a huge movie buff. Part of my New Year’s resolution was to see a movie every week. It’s pushing me to see movies that I might be on the fence about. I watch a lot of foreign films, [giving me] a window into other cultures around the world.
Q: What is your family like?
A: My dog, Rosalind, is a giant black Schnauzer. My partner, Darren, is the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life. He’s the exact opposite of me in so many ways [but] I think that’s really good.

Ms. Sloan
Q: What’s your background in dance?
A: I grew up in New Jersey. Break dancing was totally in. I just love it because it’s where I’m from. I grew up with a lot of Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, [and] African-Americans.
Q: What do you wish for Garfield students?
A: That kids here can appreciate Spanish culture and see the benefits of being bilingual. [Traveling makes you] appreciate what we have here. Our public education is free and is pretty good, especially at Garfield. There are so many [opportunities] out there, but you have to get your education [first].

Mr. Waterman
Q: What do you do outside of school?
A: I make EDM. I’ve been doing it for ten years now. I was really hoping [it] could become a full-time career, but being a full-time musician requires a lot of sacrifices and a lot of risks, and some of them I wasn’t willing to take.
Q: How did making music shape your identity?
A: [Assisting others helped me as a teacher] because [it was] understanding that you’re in a position of influence. Teaching is like a performance. There’s timing [and] structure in everything you do.

Mr. Acox
Q: Outside of Garfield Jazz, how else are you involved in music?
A: I have a group called the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and another quartet called the Legacy Band.
Q: How did you get into jazz?
A: I played classical music growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana. Many musicians play classical music because that gives them the foundation for having facility on their instrument.

Ms. McCormick
Q: What do your weekends look like?
A: If it’s sunny,
I garden constantly from morning to night. I have three and a half acres. I want it to look like Butchart Gardens. It’s a fantastic garden. We have a cutting garden, a vegetable garden,  and a forestry area.
Q: What is your favorite part of the garden?
A: I like the bonsai, [the] Japanese maples. Our maples are now [around] 20 years old.
Q: What about your summers?
A: We live right above the Snoqualmie River and float the river with friends.

Mr. Lee
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I collect records. I love going to different cities and countries and looking for records [to bring] back [and play on] my turntable.
Q: What does your record collection look like right now?
A: I have about 500 records right now. I love funk and soul music. I do collect hip hop as well like Kendrick Lamar.
Q: What’s on your bucket list?
A: I want to start my own business someday. I want to find a way to
combine the my two [passions], a coffee shop [with] records.

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Get to Know.