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The Academy Chronicle

The Student News Site of Mt. SAC Early College Academy

The Academy Chronicle

The Student News Site of Mt. SAC Early College Academy

The Academy Chronicle

Remembering Ms. Hoffman

Elizabeth+Hoffman+shows+student+Jessica+Sanabria+ceramics+basics+in+the+first+year+of+the+Ceramics+program.
Elizabeth Hoffman shows student Jessica Sanabria ceramics basics in the first year of the Ceramics program.
Story by Courtney Bell

Sadness washed over Mt. SAC Early College Academy’s (MECA) campus once news of Ms. Hoffman’s death was announced. However, with sadness came reminiscing from her close friends who worked with her and MECA students.

Ms. Hoffman was one of the founding members of MECA in 2018. Her impact on MECA is so profound that it created this wave of creative encouragement. English teacher Jeanne Berrong acknowledges the artistic impact that Hoffman had on the school. 

She mentions how state funding for the arts has dwindled in recent years yet, “with Ms. Hoffman being one of the founding teachers, there was this unusual strong focus on the arts in a school that wasn’t an arts high school.”

She goes on to say how, “her handprints are just all over everything here.” Her artistic influence is shown through/throughout her classroom, other teachers’ classrooms, and especially her students.

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  • PE teacher Lauren Yao and Elizabeth Hoffman joke and laugh with one another at the very first MECA prom.

    Image by Courtney
  • Art students create tape murals in the MPR as part of the Art 2 curriculum in Elizabeth Hoffman’s class.

  • Ms. Hoffman dances outside her room, showcasing her positivity and quirky personality that will be greatly missed on campus.

  • Teachers Elizabeth Hoffman, Tiffany Wilcox, Courtney Bell, and Lauren Yao along with students Asrar Mohamed, Amira Labesh, and Angelina Martinez taking part in the West Covina 5k.

  • Old Fart Lauren Yao, Complimentary Colors Elizabeth Hoffman, and Iron Chef Joseph Janadi show off their funny sides at the Halloween Car Parade hosted at MECA during distance learning in 2020.

    Image by Cour
  • Elizabeth Hoffman looks on as her art students use their creativity to make beautiful and unique art.

  • Staff members including Elizabeth Hoffman in the middle celebrate the first dance hosted at MECA since distance learning.

  • Elizabeth Hoffman shows student Jessica Sanabria ceramics basics in the first year of the Ceramics program.

  • Staff members including Elizabeth Hoffman pose during the school’s second year Back to School event.

  • Elizabeth Hoffman sits with longtime art student Sergio Cueva at the senior celebration.

    Image by Cou

One of those students is senior Celeste Ochoa. She has been her student since freshman year. Last year, she had 4 classes with her, and this year she had three. Needless to say, over the years she had gotten to know Ms. Hoffman very well.

Ms. Hoffman had such a great influence on Ochoa, that she has decided to pursue a career in teaching art. Ochoa shares, “She is the reason I’m still doing art, and she’s the reason I’m trying to be an art professor […] I might even consider being an art teacher for high school.” 

She expands, “I definitely do want to teach art because she meant more beyond just an art teacher. She was always there for us, and she always supported us.”

Ms. Hoffman supported students while wearing her iconic overalls to school every day. She even gifted a pair to Ochoa, so she could feel their comfort as well.

“She gave me a pair of overalls, and it’s pink, and I’ve been embroidering it, so every time I would embroider it, it reminds me of her because she gave it to me.”

Besides her famous overalls, Ms. Hoffman will be remembered for the love she had for her students. Though MECA is a very small high school, Ms. Hoffman, “loved that it was small and how she got to know every single student so well,” according to PE teacher Lauren Yao.

Ms. Hoffman’s students felt her care for them as Ochoa appreciates the confidence Ms. Hoffman held in all of her students. “She was always very confident in us, she’d be like yeah, you could totally do that, and then we’d fail at it, she’d be like you can retry, […] you can do it.”

Berrong can recall times when she witnessed Ms. Hoffman’s faith in all her students stating, “She made it safe to try and I think that’s why her class was so popular.”

Apart from the classroom, Ms. Yao mentions how she loved Ms. Hoffman’s way of making, “the best out of every situation.” Overcoming hard obstacles is something that every person has to go through in life.

Ms. Berrong admits that, “life is light and dark at the same time,” but Ms. Hoffman, “was really great at acknowledging the hard things and turning to the positive.”

It is now difficult for many to talk about Ms. Hoffman without getting emotional, Ms. Berrong, “would rather bring her up and make someone feel momentarily sad than not mention her,” because, “it’s ok to be sad and if you talk about Ms. Hoffman for more than two minutes you’re eventually going to start laughing and smiling because she was so funny and because she was just so filled with life. “

When people look back on Ms. Hoffman and her legacy, the best they can do is learn from her and keep a balance between the light and the dark.

 

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About the Contributor
Samantha Ordanes, Co-editor in chief
Samantha Ordanes is a junior at Mt. SAC Early College Academy. This is her third year as a staff member of The Academy Chronicle. She has been the Online Editor for the past two years and is a Co-editor in Chief this year. She plans to do Journalism all throughout high school and is the president of Newswriters Club. In her free time she enjoys reading, listening to music, and cooking. She values her friends and family the most and wishes to travel with them in the future.
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