From time to time, we set posts aside that deal with new classes and schedules and programs and events, and instead focus on the individual instructors and staff members that make up the diverse and unique members of the Eagle Rock community.
This time around, we’re going to learn a little about Stephany Subdiaz, a math instructor who enjoys designing courses that are fun, engaging, growth inducing, and relevant to our students. She uses dice game to teach statistics and multiplying fractions. Students learn order of operations through her loan-related math challenges. And they receive fundamentals in exponents through the latest infection rates associated with COVID-19.
For Stephany, like all Eagle Rock School instructional specialists, the key is to engage students critical thinking and creativity skills. And, because math is all around us, she asks students to think of it as a language.
Prior to Eagle Rock, Stephany worked at Colorado Outward Bound for two summers as an outdoor education instructor. She also worked several semesters at the High Mountain Institute, and before that, the UC Santa Cruz Wilderness Orientation program. In fact, it was at UC Santa Cruz where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Sciences.
What attracted Stephany to Eagle Rock was our mission of Implementing effective and engaging practices that foster each of our student’s unique potential. Growing up in Lennox, Calif., a poor neighborhood next to Inglewood, Stephany said she knows the impact a school like Eagle Rock could have on the population of students that were her own high school peers. By her own admission, Stephany says she was fortunate to be scooped up by a scholar’s program that sent her to a private school, but she saw how many of her neighborhood friends were left behind. She sees her work at Eagle Rock as a way to help others.
We asked Stephany to let us in on a few details about her job and her life. Here’s what had to share:
Eagle Rock: What’s your all-time favorite Eagle Rock success story?
Stephany Subdiaz: I particularly enjoyed watching a pair of students in my first math class at Eagle Rock. Forrest, who graduated in July of this year, will say he struggles\d with math, Cote will say she likes math, and they both worked so hard to do well in my class. I made sure to hold them to high standards and support them where they needed it most. I sat down with Forrest and worked out problems with colored pencils and I worked with Cote outside of class to understand challenge problems. They both had such different experiences with math, but they were both so determined to understand the math in my class. I was really proud of them at the end and I hope they were proud of themselves.
ER: When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Stephany: In my spare time I like to run, climb, read, play my guitar, and make art — in that order.
ER: What reality TV should you be on and why would you win or be kicked off?
Stephany: I think I would have been on “Endurance,” the teenage version of “Survivor” (available on the Discovery Kids cable network), keeping in mind that I haven’t watched reality TV since middle school. I think I would win because I’m innovative, like the outdoors, and even when people don’t like me, somehow they still respect me.
ER: What’s one thing not many people know about you?
Stephany: I was born without my upper left incisor, so I only have three teeth between my canines. It’s something people see every time I smile, but no one notices.
ER: What superpower do you have or would you like to have?
Stephany: For a lot of reasons, I’d like to have earth-bending powers, like in “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” I studied earth science, I’m a rock climber, I like to be outside in geological places, and I would say I personify what little I know about earth-benders. It’s not that I’m a huge “Avatar” fan. I just watched a few episodes when I was a kid!