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New English teacher Carolyn Cmaylo is an avid hiker

Carolyn+Cmaylo+teaches+English+11+and+Advanced+Placement+Language+and+Composition.
Carolyn Cmaylo teaches English 11 and Advanced Placement Language and Composition.

Carolyn Cmaylo teaches English 11 and Advanced Placement Language and Composition.

Emilie Ramirez

Emilie Ramirez

Carolyn Cmaylo teaches English 11 and Advanced Placement Language and Composition.

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The thought of teaching a room full of teenagers might scare some but not Carolyn Cmaylo.  New to SCHS, Cmaylo teaches English 11 and Advanced Placement Language and Composition. In her free time, she climbs mountains and travels the world.

A Santa Cruz native, Cmaylo spends every moment possible outdoors hiking, biking, skiing, swimming and mountain climbing.  Last year, she went to Tanzania and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. This summer, Cmaylo traveled to Italy with her family and recently, she traveled alone to the Khumbu area of Nepal to climb a peak.  

“I seek out these experiences and everyone really supports me in my dream, so the whole time I’m having an experience, I’m extremely appreciative of the fact that I’m doing it,” Cmaylo said. “It’s beautiful. You challenge yourself physically and mentally, and it is a wonderful experience.”

Independently, she has traveled all over the world, including South America, Northern and Western Europe, Africa and Asia. Shortly after high school, Cmaylo even lived in Israel for a year in a collective community called a Kibbutz.

“I came back and started college in earnest.” Cmaylo said. “I actually applied to [University of California, Santa Cruz] as I was living on the Kibbutz. I thought, ‘I guess I have to go to school now.’”

Cmaylo attended UCSC and studied literature. She later attended University of the Pacific McGeorge Law School in order to become a lawyer.  Cmaylo transitioned from law to education after seeing how happy her husband was when he became a teacher.

“I found in spending all my working time with teenagers that I just love that part of life that teenagers are experiencing,” Cmaylo said. “I just love being a witness to all of the potential and possibility in the world and watching other humans just trying to find out who they are and where they fit in the whole structure.”

Cmaylo’s favorite part of teaching is the ability to be creative and make connections with students. She loves when students discover they can do something they thought they couldn’t, or see something in a new way.

“I realize that my work is not about me — it’s about them,” Cmaylo said. “My goal always is to figure out how I can best serve students in becoming whoever they want to be.”

For Cmaylo, a perfect life is not just something to dream about. She enjoys everything exactly the way it is.

“I am living [a perfect life]. I have zero regrets. I love exactly what I’m doing,” Cmaylo said.  “Loving one’s job is paramount to being happy. So far so good.”

 

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The student news site of Santa Clara High School
New English teacher Carolyn Cmaylo is an avid hiker