Staff Members Welcome the Bulldog Baby Boom


Photo Courtesy of Thomas Trinh

Along with his parents, Camden Trinh is preparing for a transformation in his life: becoming a big brother!

By Jenny Won, Portola High School

As the Bulldogs fall into stride with the new school year and mature alongside their school, it is easy to forget that many staff members have been growing and reaching major milestones in their personal lives. Eight of them in particular have been preparing to enter or have recently entered another stage of their lives: parenthood.

Some of the expecting or recent parents include visual and performing arts department chair Samantha Gardner, world language department chair Megan Kirby, science teacher Jeralyn Newton, education specialist Lucia Pimentel, college and career specialist Nicole Rengifo, science teacher Michael Tang, instrumental music teacher Kyle Traska and computer support specialist Thomas Trinh.

Trinh, his wife and their two-year-old son Camden are expecting a daughter in November. 

“I’m continuing to learn, and I hope the experience that I have now with my son will be similar [with my daughter],” Trinh said. “But no matter how much research you do or how much you try to prepare yourself for being a parent, I don’t think anything really prepares you enough.”

The prospect of parenthood can be daunting, especially for new parents. Newton is expecting her first child next January. As a first-time parent and full-time teacher, she says she is anticipating challenges in balancing both parts of her life without sacrificing either.

“What I’m expecting will be the hardest is during soccer season, since I’m due at my busiest time when I’ll be coaching and teaching,” Newton said. “I’m not planning on stepping down the number of classes I’m teaching or giving up soccer, but I’ll definitely reach out to family for help, which is important. I’m so thankful they live right down the street.”

As a parent of three, lead counselor Melissa Gibson recounts her first memories of motherhood with fondness. She welcomed her third child, Braxton, this past January.

“I don’t know if [Braxton] is so much different or I’m just that much more relaxed about the whole process,” Gibson said. “But it’s definitely easier.”

Whether expectant or experienced, mother or father, parenthood is a unique experience for each of our staff members that transforms their everyday lives.

“It’s exciting,” Newton said. “I look at a lot of my students and get excited thinking about how I hope my kid might be like them.”

This story was originally published on Portola Pilot on September 18, 2019.