Jessica Godwin Barba,  Second Grade Teacher |

Dear Hollywood Schoolhouse |

I wanted to take a moment and formally introduce myself, my name is Jessica Godwin Barba. We have known each other for 20 years, and we have had varied experiences during this time.  I first met you in March of 1999, when I was fresh out of college.  I had recently arrived in California, as I had just trekked across the country, starting off from Massachusetts.  My childhood friend and roommate had been scoping out the private school possibilities in LA, as she knew I was eager to find a teaching position.  She gave me your name, and I can still remember the day we met.  I soon began seeing you daily as a preschool teacher, and then one year as a third grade teacher.  I also spent my days as a kindergarten teacher for two years.  Truthfully, I left for two years when I needed to return to Massachusetts for family reasons.  Although, I missed you and thought of you often.  On a visiting trip to LA, I heard that you were in need of a second grade teacher.  Even though I was living in MA, I spontaneously decided to interview for my second time at HSH, as a second grade lead teacher.  This is how I have been spending the last 17 years of our acquaintance, and I love it!

Some of the unique opportunities that I have been afforded through our friendship is meeting so many amazing people!  The students and families that I have worked with over the years make each school year memorable and special.  An enormous bonus has been the opportunity to work alongside many fantastic colleagues that continue to support and inspire me daily.  I met my husband at HSH, and now we have two beautiful children that are lucky enough to be students walking through your hallways.  For this reason, the word family will always be associated with HSH in my mind. This experience of being a parent, in addition to a teacher, has deepened my appreciation and understanding of your value.  

 A few more concepts stand out when I think about you, The Hollywood Schoolhouse. Creativity is nurtured and supported at HSH.  This is evident in the classes that are offered, through the displayed work in the hallways, and also behind the scenes when teachers are brainstorming and planning.  Dedication is an important word amongst my core values, and it is also present throughout the school.  Others may see this in the classroom, while watching teachers and students interacting, or even if you reflect on our year learning remotely.  The platform of online learning has been successful through the dedication of all of the staff.  It is from our love of inspiring lifelong learners that we have been so dedicated to the children this year.  I look forward to the days when I can once again see children playing freely on the yard, and when I can work closely with a small group of students.  It has been through family values, creativity, and dedication that we have withstood the current challenges together.

I must commend you on your 75 years of service to students.  There are certainly other people who benefit from your close-knit community and establishment, but at the heart of it all, laughing, learning, and thriving children are the focal point.  I believe in the next 75 years, you will continue to embrace and inspire young minds and hearts.  It is my hope that I will continue to work alongside you, and contribute my part in cultivating curiosity and supporting the development of caring children.  I feel excited for you and I know that you have worked hard to achieve all of your accomplishments.  May you continue to be successful on your journey into the future.

Warmest Regards,

Ms. Jessica