First Impressions: Getting to Know Ms. Pham


Tanya Garcia


Ms. Pham is the new computers teacher at HMSA. Luckily, I had the opportunity to interview her and get her thoughts on HMSA.

What was your first impression of HMSA?

“Coming from a campus of 5,000 students, HMSA is well managed and organized.  The staffs are all personable and welcoming.  I am very impressed with student behavior, respectfulness, and motivation.”  

What drove you to become a teacher?

“Two major experiences drove me to become a teacher. First reason- I was inspired since 6th grade by my favorite math teacher Mr. Cone (real name).  I struggled as a student and did not like many subjects. Mr. Cone noticed my weaknesses and offered both morning and after school tutoring sessions for his students.  He patiently explained any of the problems I had.  By the 8th grade, I was one of the top students in my class.

Second reason- I am always looking for a new city, new adventure. While studying at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), I entered the study abroad program and continued my education at the University of Warwick in England (an hour from London) for half a year.  I got a chance to travel to about 8 countries (Ireland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Prague, Germany, Greece).  After returning, I continued my education and received my masters at UCI as well. The combination of traveling and my inspirations from my junior high teacher drove me to become a teacher.”

How is HMSA any different than schools you’ve worked at in the past?

“As mentioned earlier, this school is much smaller. All staff and students here are amazing. HMSA cannot compare, as it is ranked very high! I am blessed to be a part of this school!

Can you give us 3 fun facts about you?

1)    “I am addicted to traveling! Aside from the European countries mentioned, I have also visited Japan, Costa Rica, New York, Boston, Hawaii, Chicago, Mississippi, Florida, and more!”

2)    “I love the outdoors- Camping, fishing, hiking, and backpacking!”

3)    “I am very competitive! Since junior high, I played basketball, soccer, and volleyball and even until today!

What are your goals for this school year?

“I am very excited to get to know the staff, students, and become involved in other activities on campus! My goal is to share my college and life experiences with my students along with providing them an education.”

How do you feel about the reading program at HMSA? Do you have any book recommendations?

“It is great that students are not obligated to read a specific book and are now open to read what they truly enjoy. While reading books of their personal interests, they also receive incentives!”

Ms. Pham recommends reading:

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.