For this Issue’s Old School feature, The Shield staff reached out to the health office and student service worker: Tessa Corona del Conde. Personally, Tessa has helped me greatly with feeling comfortable and welcome around school. However, her positive spirit and kindness to everyone has allowed her to impact many lives within the Westmont community. To get a deeper understanding of Tessa’s decision to work at a school, we decided to ask her questions about her experiences during her high school years.
Where did you go to high school?
What was your school’s mascot?
When did you graduate?
Class of 1985
What was your favorite class in high school and why?
History and Compared Literature. They both transported me to other eras and places and I have always found that fascinating. I also think that if you study the past, you understand the present and even allows you to predict or trace a better future.
What was your most challenging class?
I have never been a math person. I got the arithmetics, but once I had to deal with letters in algebra and statistics I suffered a lot. I had to study very hard.
What was your favorite extracurricular activity and why?
I participated with the student union in organizing lectures related to culture, history, art and politics. We would invite speakers from different universities and research institutions to come and share their knowledge.
Who were your favorite bands/artists/songs while in high school?
In Spanish a band from Spain named Mecano –Me cuesta tanto olvidarte, Aire, Cruz de navajas.
In English, The Police –EveryBreath You Take– Simple Minds –Forget about me–, Toto –Africa– and of course I listened a lot to Fleetwood Mac
What was your favorite TV show in high school?
In Mexican TV a soap opera called Bodas de odio (Weddings of Hate) and American TV, Seinfeld.
What was your favorite novel?
El amor en los tiempos del cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera) by Gabriel García Márquez.
What was your favorite movie while in high school?
The Breakfast Club.
What are your favorite memories of high school?
High School in Mexico is three years. I remember them as being fun, engaging and an eye opener. I had a very good time.
What is your least favorite memory of high school?
A Statistics final test. I was shaking thinking I wouldn’t pass the class. To this day I have nightmares where they tell me I can’t move on to college because I have to retake that class.
What time did school start and end?
9:00 – 3:00 pm.
What was your gpa?
We did not have to take any AP classes to boost our GPA. On a scale of 1-10 I had a 9.90 GPA despite suffering a lot with Stats.
Did you receive any awards?
Awards were not a huge thing. They were mainly given for sports. My high school was and still is super big in terms of population. It has two shifts: a morning and an afternoon one. Each shift hosts 5,000 students. Of the 10,000 students I was chosen to participate in the electoral campaign for the presidential elections. On behalf of all the students in my school I delivered a speech to one of the presidential candidates in which I asked for an increase in the budget to update the equipment in the sciences labs and in the theater and arts departments. I also spoke of the importance of education as a great equalizer and overall pleaded to the candidate to consider education reform, especially in terms of the free textbooks, and make this the main point of his campaign. The candidate became Mexico’s president in December of 1982. His name was Miguel de la Madrid.
How did you get to school (if you drove, what kind of car)?
The first year I took public transportation and starting the second year I drove my mom’s gray Datsun Nissan 510 Station Wagon.
Did you ever have to go to the dean or principal’s office?
Tessa is a truly essential member of the Westmont community, and learning all of these amazing stories from her past truly shows her always apparent hard work and care for her craft.