SEMHS Staff Takes Precaution



Vaccination preparation.

Jesenia Garcia, Editor In Chief

On March 1st teachers became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of category 1B. Those eligible in category 1B include individuals 65 or older, education and childcare workers, along with emergency services workers. According to Ms. Lelchuk, English teacher and Yearbook Advisor, the district has kept teachers updated via email memos. The district has partnered with City of Hope National Medical Center, located in Duarte California, in order to get district employees vaccinated. Many SEMHS staff were excited to hear they were eligible, and jumped at the opportunity to get vaccinated.

James Kidder, Social Science Teacher, shared his encounter with the virus, “I had COVID in January and cleared in February. After that, it was very unclear whether I needed the shots or not. I decided to cover all bets and get the shots.” He received his first shot on February 20th and will be receiving his second shot on March 21st. Before the district announced their partnership with City of Hope, Mr. Kidder had some difficulty scheduling an appointment. After successfully arranging the date of his vaccination, he mentioned that it was smooth sailing the day of his appointment. “It was very easy at the site. My appointment was for 8:40 AM. I got there at about 8, and they let me get in line. It was a drive through system, and it took less than an hour.” His family was grateful he got the vaccine since he had it in the beginning of the year and considering his age. 

Natasha Lelchuk, English Teacher and Yearbook Advisor, had her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. She explains that although SEMHS teachers are not required to get the vaccination she feels blessed to teach in a district that values teachers and staff safety and health. “I feel lucky to teach in a district that has made it a priority to get teachers and other district staff vaccinated.” Ms. Lelchuk has had no doubts about receiving the vaccine. She also mentioned its importance, “I think it’s really important for everyone who can get vaccinated to do it as soon as it’s available to them. When you get the vaccine, it doesn’t just protect you, it protects everyone you come into contact with.” Due to the numerous websites and platforms there is to find a vaccine, she felt overwhelmed. She ended up scheduling an appointment through the City of Hope’s platform. She shares that she and her family are excited about the vaccine. “My grandparents, who live in Nevada, were vaccinated last month, and it gives me comfort to know that they’re safer from COVID now, especially given their ages and complex medical histories. I hope the rest of my family is able to get vaccinated soon as well.”

Teachers and staff are still in the process of scheduling an appointment or receiving the vaccine. Getting the vaccine is taking a step forward towards getting back on campus. Although the process of getting back to school has been long and rocky, this is a step in the right direction. The district will continue to prioritize the health and safety of others before students and teachers can safely return to campus.