As many people in SLA know, VK has left to go to Drexel University to help with a new STEM education program. Teaching Engineering, Robotics, and Chemistry in his stead is John Kamal who some students might recognize from being Ms. Echols’ student teacher earlier this year in Physics.
Although he only started as a full-time teacher this month, he has already made his mark on the school. Anyone who has visited Room 304 since winter break will have noticed that is much cleaner than it was earlier in the school year with most of the lab tables cleaned off and signs welcoming you to the room. Additional there are plans to alter the typical curriculum he will be teaching, so it’s clear a lot more changes will be happening in 304. To learn more about him and his arrival at SLA, an interview was set which you can read below.
Interviewer: To start, Where were you before you came here to SLA?
John Kamal: “I was working at WAM systems a company I co-founded and worked at as Chief Operating Officer for twenty-five years. We developed supply chain planning software and provide consulting services to large manufacturers.”
Interviewer: Why did you leave to come teach at SLA?
Kamal: “I decided to change career after the sale of the company to Triple Point Technology and I wanted to teach science and technology.”
Interviewer: How did you learn of the job and why did you decide to work here?
Kamal: “My son Nathan went to SLA and graduated in 2012. I also knew Mr Lehman and Mrs Echols from my time as a parent of SLA.
Interviewer: So far how has your teaching experience been here at SLA?
Kamal: “ I love it, everyday I have fun and I really enjoy the students energy
Interviewer: You started out helping Mrs. Echols, was the plan always for you to take over for VK?
Kamal: “ I was a member of the Philadelphia Teacher Residency program, I wasn’t thinking about staying at SLA but when VK’s job opened up it was a great fit.
Interviewer: How do you feel the students are taking to your replacement of VK.
Kamal: “Well change is always hard but each new person in role can add new things to a program”
Interviewer: What challenges have you face in fitting in?
Kamal: “Well I’m the oldest teacher in the school but I think thats a positive as I can provide a historical perspective.”
Interviewer: Anything else?
Kamal: “I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity and to work with such an incredible community and to have so much support.”