Teachers of Castaic: Mrs. Itaya


Mrs. Itaya is currently in her second year of teaching 10th and 11th grade English here at Castaic High School in room 252. Before transferring employment, she was at Valencia High School, where she instructed for 25 years. Mrs. Itaya transferred mainly because of the new opportunities and different programs in place here, some of her favorite changes being standard-based grading and advisory. She loves that students get the chance to retake tests and assignments to show that they’ve learned more. In connection to that, she appreciates WIN time, the allotted time the school gives students to consult with teachers and get extra help. Enthusiastically, she explained why she loves advisory so much, and how she gets to help her students prepare for the future because of it. 

In total, Mrs. Itaya has been teaching for 35 years, giving her valuable experience with both education and connecting with her students. Not only has she taught English, she explains that “I have also taught Drama, I’ve taught History, I’ve taught Newspaper, I’ve taught Yearbook, I’ve taught Dance, and Peer Counseling”. Teaching is something that Mrs. Itaya is passionate about, and she’s able to adapt to those different subjects and use that passion to both teach effectively and help students enjoy learning.

In high school, Mrs. Itaya was interested in pursuing a career in either psychology or law. It wasn’t until she was 18 that she began to consider a career in teaching saying, “When I was in my freshman year at UCLA, I was a mothers helper for this rich family [when I was 18]…the dad was a lawyer and he worked in North Carolina and only came home every other weekend, the mom had just gotten her master’s degree and worked for Xerox. And so basically they hired me to raise their kids”. They had three children, all of whom she cared for, but that experience gave her this thought: “I wanted to choose a career that I thought would also help me be present to raise my kids…it was kind of hard the first five years but once my kids were in school our hours paralleled and I felt like I was able to have it all, like have a career but also be able to be a present mom”. Becoming a teacher was a great way to help this goal come to reality, with a perfect schedule for being an involved mother.

Outside of school, Mrs. Itaya expresses a great love for the outdoors. “I really into being outside…hiking, being in nature, traveling to outside places”. Not only does she love being out in nature, she cheerfully added that,  “Anybody who knows me knows I love dogs…I love dogs because they’re so loving, I wish we had more of that in the world.” Anyone can see that she has a genuinely kind heart. Lately, the English teacher has been getting into working out, and has found a real love for it. It’s something that she enjoys talking about with her students as it has common ground with many of them.

Without hesitation, Mrs. Itaya explained how her kids are her favorite part of her career. “Even when I act irritated with them I still love them…they’re funny, warm, and kind” she said. Because school has been spent primarily online for her current students, she has expressed her admiration for students and their ability to re-adapt to in person school. “I think when kids came back this year it was a hard adjustment. I felt so proud of kids who were able to readjust because it shows how you can face adversity and through perseverance you can get through it…I felt really proud that I could be part of the process.” As a teacher, one of her many duties includes interacting with her students. “The love I have for my students is not a fake thing at all…I want to be someone who’s caring and helpful. I have a genuine interest in what’s going on in your lives” says Mrs. Itaya. Students across campus have shared their great appreciation for Mrs. Itaya and have described her as a friendly and caring individual, “If there was any teacher I would want to talk to about something, it would be her” said one of her students. 

Throughout the school year she has taught a variety of lessons but expresses that she hopes students will walk away from her class with strong reading and writing skills: she believes that regardless of what career path her students follow, their literacy skills will come with them. “I just hope kids can walk away from English with enough knowledge about being a good effective reader and a good writer so that when they go into the future and they use those skills they feel confident in them” she says. 

Castaic High School is lucky to have Mrs. Itaya here as one of our teachers. She puts in effort to make her classes engaging and have her students take home newly learned information. Room 252 is filled with much love and compassion for the students at this school.