Always a Nitro: Ms. Khalatyan

Our seventh in a series on GHS staff members who also attended our school

Always a Nitro: Ms. Khalatyan

Joleyshka Wilson, Staff Writer

Ms. Gohar Khalatyan is a 9th-grade Living Earth teacher, who is currently teaching two 11th-grade Physiology classes as well. She was born in Yerevan, Armenia, and immigrated here when she was six years old, because her parents wanted her to have more opportunities in education and all other aspects of life. In her free time, she loves baking and cooking as it is very therapeutic for her.

Ms. Khalatyan has only been teaching at GHS for four years, and she has already been nominated as a Finalist for the 2021 Teacher of the Year. She feels that “it was the BEST compliment ever.” 

The opportunity for her to work at GHS was unexpected, but she chose to teach here because she has “a lot of confidence in all the schools in GUSD and wanted to be part of it.”

Ms. Khalatyan wanted to become a psychologist, but she couldn’t afford the time and money to go back to school, and her circumstances led her into the teaching profession. She felt like she was training to become a teacher all her life, and “that teaching is my niche because I fit in and it feels like the most meaningful thing I have ever done.”

Ms. Khalatyan used to be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and used to work with kids with developmental disorders. She performed behavior therapy, which involves using different techniques to teach children skills in which they may be delayed, like communicating through words or sign language.

Ms. Khalatyan graduated from Glendale High School in the year 2001, which was the same year that Ms. Arakelian graduated from GHS. She liked learning in general, but her favorite classes were in English, because she loved literature and writing.

Overall, Ms. Khalatyan thinks that GHS has not changed much since she was a student here. Some of the teachers she used to have are still teaching at GHS, “which is awesome.” 

She wishes that GHS still had a Drama department and believes that Theatre helped define GHS years ago. “It was great to have that creative outlet for the students,” she said, “and the students were amazing.” She also wishes that we still offered a large variety of foreign language classes, like French and Latin, in addition to the ones being offered now.

Ms. Khalatyan and her classmates at the 2001 GHS graduation ceremony

In several ways, GHS is better than it was twenty years ago. Ms. Khalatyan mentioned that it is improving a lot, including the addition of “student voice” as part of the school curriculum and functions. She thinks this will help students establish a feeling of belonging with their school.

Ms. Khalatyan likes to be hopeful. As for the pandemic, she believes the outcome depends on us and the measures that we take, like vaccinations and other precautions. She does believe that we will get through this one as well.