The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

The School Newspaper of West High School

West Signals

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The National Honor Society provides help in many AP exams. Tutors were assigned to one subject to improve their tutees experience, providing advice based on previous experience in each class. “I recommend coming to these AP cram sessions because you can receive help from students who have previously and recently taken the test,” NHS board member Katie Ho (12) explained.
Time to Cram!
Katelyn Baba, Staff Writer • May 9, 2024
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Guiding Explorations: Meet the New Teacher Nurturing Scientific Minds

Mr.+Lai+also+coaches+for+the+Cross+Country+team+at+West.+Runner+Natsuki+Nawachi%289%29+expressed+that+as+a+runner%2C+%E2%80%9Che+pushed+everyone+to+do+their+best.%E2%80%9D+Whether+it+be+in+or+out+of+the+classroom%2C+Mr.+Lai+continues+to+be+an+inspiration+for+all+of+us.+
Art/Photo by Maya
Mr. Lai also coaches for the Cross Country team at West. Runner Natsuki Nawachi(9) expressed that as a runner, “he pushed everyone to do their best.” Whether it be in or out of the classroom, Mr. Lai continues to be an inspiration for all of us.

   Walking around and hanging out with friends at Del Amo mall is something we have all done. For Mr. Lai, the new Biology teacher, that’s no different. At one point in time, he too would hang out with his friends at the mall. After leaving for college and teaching at other school districts, nearly two decades later, he is back. 

   For most teachers, this new school year is just part of their yearly routine. For Mr. Lai, however, this is a brand new school with a  new environment. 

   Growing up in the South Bay, he was very much a “save the earth sort of kid” — over time, Mr. Lai came to develop his passion for biology. As he grew older, he went on to go to graduate school but realized it wasn’t for him, so he switched to doing field work. After 3 years of fieldwork, “[he] realized that fieldwork wasn’t really for [him]” either. 

   Mr. Lai has 13 years of teaching experience. With his experience has also come a lot of learning and developing as a teacher. Biology Honors student Matilda Burnett (9) stated, “He doesn’t force material on [the] students and he’s mainly focused on having the kids learn.” With this flexible teaching style, students aren’t constantly under pressure and can learn the material more enjoyably. 

   So far, Mr. Lai has enjoyed West High and “the students have also been very nice.” Through his teaching, he hopes to “spread his knowledge onto others” and share the enthusiasm he had as a child for Biology. As he grew up in San Pedro, coming back to the South Bay has been fitting. Fellow Biology Honors student Isabelle Espiritu (9) shared that “whenever you ask questions, Mr. Lai is always very kind and enthusiastic.” His method of being approachable and allowing students to articulate themselves allows for a positive learning environment. “He’s animated and interested in what he’s teaching,” Burnett added, which helps her stay focused during class. His class is not only challenging but also engaging, and over the years, Mr. Lai has been able to motivate countless students to pursue a career in science. As the school year goes on, there is no doubt that he will continue to challenge and inspire students. 

   “I would recommend this class to anyone who has an interest in Biology,” Espiritu finished. For the foreseeable future, Mr. Lai will continue to form students into a better version of themselves. 

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About the Contributor
Maya Nawachi
Maya Nawachi, Staff Photographer
Maya Nawachi is a photographer for West Signals and a sophomore at West. This is her first year at Signals. Through photography, she aims to capture the vibrant essence of West High through the lens of her camera. In her free time, she could be seen riding her bike, cooking, and hanging out with friends.