New science teacher Carissa Cayanan hopes to create a positive classroom environment after a year of distance learning


James Kepner

After student teaching at SCHS, Cayanan is excited to enter her first full year of teaching.

New biology teacher Carissa Cayanan is entering her first full year of teaching after a year of student teaching at SCHS. 

Cayanan initially became interested in teaching because her sister is an elementary school teacher. Cayanan was also inspired to begin a career in education due to her high school AP Biology teacher.

“I took AP Biology in high school and I had a teacher who was really, really good at what he did,” Cayanan said. “He kind of suggested ‘How about going into teaching?’ He helped me get scholarships to get into Santa Clara (University).”

Cayanan earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Public Health Science at Santa Clara  University. She also considered pursuing physical therapy in the event she did not become a teacher. 

“I thought about doing physical therapy, PT School. I also double majored in public health in case I ended up not wanting to teach,” Cayanan said. 

Additionally, Cayanan has many goals she wants to accomplish in her first year of teaching. 

“Since it’s my first year of teaching, I want to build relationships with my students. Coming out of COVID and distance learning, I think it’s just been super exciting to get to meet students and get to know them and be able to build relationships with them as well as with teachers,” Cayanan said. “A lot of the teachers here have been supportive and sharing their experiences, and I would like that to continue.” 

Cayanan said she has gratefully adapted to the environment at SCHS quite easily. 

“My experience here so far with student teaching and the first three weeks of school have been so positive that I feel like this is my community, and it made me realize that this is what I want to do and this is where I want to be,” Cayanan said. “I am so happy to be here, and it’s been an honor.”