Profile: New special education teacher, Alyssa Santos

Alyssa Santos is Oak Park’s newest special education teacher moving from Las Vegas, Nevada. In a search to find residency closer to her family, she stumbled upon Oak Park. 

“I looked around the Southern California area and found out that Oak Park was one of the top schools in the state,” Santos said. “That was very important to me as a teacher and as a parent, because I have a son who is [now] a freshman at OPHS.” 

Santos has a 30-year background working in Las Vegas, teaching subjects such as AP world history, English, psychology, sociology, geography, as well as co-teaching a variety of math and science classes over the years. However, a global pandemic was not quite what she had in mind for her first year teaching in Oak Park. 

“COVID-19 has made it difficult for me to get to know the students and staff on a more personal level,” Santos said. “I am looking forward to in-person learning.”

Despite the circumstances, she has still been able to remain in contact with the Oak Park staff as she begins her first year of teaching at Oak Park High School..

“The teachers and staff at OPHS have been wonderful in helping me get settled in my new position,” Santos said. “My students and their parents have been very supportive as well.”

Student interaction is very important to her in making the transition to Oak Park Unified School District.

“My most favorite thing about OPHS so far is that the students are so kind and helpful to one another,” Santos said. “They always say ‘thank you’ to the teachers when they leave. My least favorite thing is that I don’t get to see the kids in person.”