The Class of 2021 seniors is graduating on June 10, meaning their high school experience is coming to an end. Staff and teachers may routinely perform their jobs, but you may not be aware of the teachers who have experienced Hollywood High School as a student, too.
Physical education teacher Yesenia Guzman attended Hollywood High as a student. Since her aunt, cousins, and older sister all attended HHS, she wouldn’t have had it any other way. She claims to have received a lot of support and advice from teachers and staff when she needed it, especially when her father passed away.
The majority of Guzman’s greatest student memories were made on the quad with friends she met throughout her high school years. A few of her other favorite memories were setting up the soccer field before game time and graduating at the Hollywood Bowl.
During her freshman year from 2004-2005, Guzman said she convinced her friends to join the girls soccer team with her so they could have fun coordinating with each other. The athletes on the field wore red and white jerseys or shirts, including Guzman who wore red jerseys and white bottoms during the pep rallies to show school spirit, with her friends. The crowd in the bleachers included peers, teachers, and staff as each team got introduced with chants and ball tricks.
Since Guzman and her team were announced, their coach instructed them to take a step forward as each of their names were being chanted, “Whose House, H-house, Whose House, H-house, Hollywood on 3. 1, 2, 3, Hollywood!.”
“Seeing staff, teachers, coaches, students all come together to show appreciation to these student athletes and allowing them to shine before the rest of the school to see was astonishing to me. These students were able to put their worries to the side for a moment and enjoy themselves at school with their peers.” said Guzman.
When Guzman was a student at Hollywood High, the school used to have 6th period sports. She said she loved it because it allowed all student athletes in one class, allowing the school to address concerns, ensure that they did not miss important classes, and keep students healthy through training.
“Aesthetically the school has improved. We had a dirt field, we had old wooden benches, trees as the only form of shade. Now we have a great stadium, nice benches, and umbrellas for extra shade in the quad, more murals, and more plants,” she said.
Another alumnus, NMA math teacher and test coordinator, Javier Perez said he had an amazing and excellent experience as a student at Hollywood High when he was in the class of 2001. He said great teachers inspired him to pursue a career as a math teacher at Hollywood High. During high school, Perez met many great people who he’s still close to, including his wife, whom he met during their freshman year in their English class.
“One of my favorite memories was graduation. It is a great feeling walking down towards the stage of the Hollywood Bowl! I was surrounded by my friends and my family was extremely happy,” said Perez.
Another alumnus, custodian Michael Mejia graduated with the Class of 2011. His favorite part of his high school experience was that he played football and baseball.
Because the crowd was full of people, Mejia said he had a great time at every Friday night football game. The homecoming parades were always fun before the homecoming football game. Another of his favorite high school memories is when they had baseball games that were played under the lights, where they had some awesome rivalry games with Los Angeles High School.
As a former athlete, Mejia believes that seeing the Hollywood High turf field is awesome because of how much it’s changed since he was a student here. “We used to call our field the dirt bowl because it had very little grass. But overall HHS will forever be a part of me… as a B.G.W and Baseball coach I’m very proud to be a Sheik!” said Mejia.
Member of the Hollywood High custodian team, Brian Salazar said he had a great high school experience at Hollywood High. Junior year was his favorite because it was the year he made varsity in football and baseball.
“My experience at Hollywood High was great. I got to meet so many different people and all my teachers were amazing,” said Salazar.