Ann Cortina


  • Time Zone
    (not set)

  • Organization
    West High School

  • Role
    Teacher: students in my class(es) will participate

  • Teaching Since

  • Describe your teaching experience and interests in a brief public biography (200 words)
    I teach Biology, AP Biology, and Biotechnology and coach the Academic Decathlon team. I am also the faculty sponsor of the environmental club. I am interested in providing students with as many opportunities for experiential learning as possible.
    Since 2012, my AP Biology students (along with the AP Environmental Science class) have participated in a year-long service learning project where they have planned, developed, maintained, and communicated about a CA native plant and animal habitat on campus. This year, student docents led guided tours of the habitat for administrators, teachers, and students to advocate for natural landscaping methods and to showcase the native plants and their features.
    Recently, our science teachers were given access to a restored seasonal marsh across the street from school and we are in the process of developing curricula for our students to do inquiry labs and research projects there starting next year.
    The environmental club has also been involved in many science-based projects including a school garden and kitchen waste composting. A plan for next year includes providing and supporting interested teachers with planters outside of their classrooms and seeds so that they can grow milkweed to attract monarchs.
    Personally, I am married with four adult children. I love gardening (my mom was a Nebraska farmer) and have enjoyed vegetable gardening and landscaping my entire life. Recently, I removed all turf from my front and back yards and replaced it with CA natives in response to Southern California's prolonged drought. I also love camping, hiking, and spending time outdoors enjoying nature.

  • School name
    West High

  • Your school website URL (optional)