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Segerstrom News

The Student News Site of Segerstrom High School

New environmental science teacher makes a splash at Segerstrom

Image Courtesy of Lynne Kohlhase
Ms. Kohlhase is passionate about both the outdoors and swimming. Spearfishing is just one of the many hobbies Ms. Kohlhase loves.

Following the retirement of Environmental Science teacher and lacrosse coach, Michael Vanags, we would soon see the transfer of Segerstrom’s new teacher, Lynne Kohlhase. It has been one semester since her addition to the campus, but she has already contributed a lot to Segerstrom.

Before joining SAUSD, Ms. Kohlhase furthered her passion for science at the Hoag Health Center in Newport Beach for about a decade. Hoag Hospital has been ranked as the highest-ranking medical network in Orange County, even surpassing the UCI Medical Center.  Her role was in the microbiology department, assisting with patient care. This entailed cultivating patient-provided samples and testing them for the most efficient antibiotic treatment. Even with her expertise in science, she eventually wanted to inspire future scientists.

“Although I loved being involved with science and contributing to patient care,” Ms. Kohlhase described, “oftentimes, the job was somewhat repetitive. Even though I enjoy science, I do like an outlet to be creative, and I thought that it would be nice to contribute back to a new generation of teachers.”

Ms. Kohlhase would join SAUSD, teaching environmental science, anatomy, and physiology at Century High School. She taught at Century for three years until she transferred schools. This transfer was because of her love of swimming.

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“First of all, Century High School does not have a pool. Growing up, I was involved in a lot of swimming,” Ms. Kohlhase remarked. “And I knew that the school that I would eventually want to join would hopefully have a pool.”

As a new teacher at Segerstrom, Ms. Kohlhase adapted to the workflow with ease. She got acquainted with the fantastic teachers within the science department. One of her favorite parts of teaching is getting to know the students. That positive attitude is greatly appreciated by her students every day.

“As a teacher, I think Ms. Kohlhase is really helpful. I feel like she pushes us to be better,” environmental science student Marilyn Paris (9) commented. “I look forward to going to her first period because she is very pleasant and she’s easy to talk to.”

Outside of teaching, Ms. Kohlhase has been known to have an adventurous spirit, spending her spare time spearfishing, hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering. She has successfully climbed Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko (7,310 feet) and Kenya’s Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet). But she was always a swimmer at heart.

“I grew up on a neighborhood swim team. I also did club swimming. I coached a neighborhood swim team for about seven years,” Ms. Kohlhase reminisced. “It’s so rewarding [to see] the improvement that you get from the beginning of the summer to the end of the summer. It’s very similar to teaching.”

Fortunately for Ms. Kohlhase, Environmental Science and swim coach, Vaness Crook was moving to Texas. After discussing the matter, Ms. Crook offered her coaching position to Ms. Kohlhase. Ecstatic, she immediately accepted the opportunity to become a swim coach again.

“That was the one thing that I missed. I did help coach the track team over at Century, but it’s not quite the same as teaching a sport you truly love.”

Despite the additional workload, her passion for coaching and teaching was undeterred as she enjoyed every minute of both activities. Her commitment has not gone unnoticed, especially when it comes to our swim team; they are grateful for her unique style of stepping up to the plate.

“She’s a really good coach. She explains a lot. And even [the other day], she jumped into the pool to show us some tips,” Junior Varsity swimmer Roman Correa (9) stated. “She’s good at showing us what to do. She’s a nice person [and] she’s really helpful.”

Whether it be at the pool deck or in the classroom, Ms. Kohlhase has demonstrated a tremendous skill set that motivates athletes and inspires scientists. Although she has only been here for just a semester, she has contributed a considerable amount of her experiences to Segerstrom. Hopefully, we continue to see Ms. Kohlhase make Segerstrom a better place.

“My favorite part is just getting that reward at the end of the year and seeing how much [my] students or athletes have grown and changed. That is the heart of teaching and coaching.”

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