Delving into the mind of new AP Psychology and Cultural Geography teacher, Mr. Pont

Sasha Hassan & Kavin Kumaravel, Arts & Entertainment Editor and Staff Writer

Julian Pont is Dougherty’s newest AP Psychology and Cultural Geography teacher. He attended college at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and California State University, Easy Bay (CSUEB) and finished with a Bachelor of the Arts (B.A.) in sociology and a social science teaching credential. After five years of teaching at Kennedy High School, Pont shares some of his thoughts on arriving at Dougherty.

Q: How do you like Dougherty?

A: I’m very honored to be here at Dougherty, to be part of the success that this place breeds … this is exactly what I needed in my career.

Q: What’s different about working here versus your old school?

A: Everything. Name a category and it’s different. The racial demographics, the academic success, the organization of the district and the administration, the effort the kids put in, the poverty versus the more affluent, the school size … and here the stress is academic success.

Q: What made you want to move?

A: I just needed a change. I was getting bored [at Kennedy]. I already knew what to expect. In order to survive at a school like [Kennedy] you have to maintain high expectations and then at the same time not get stressed when they’re not met or not even close to met … and it’s a hard trick to do. You put in all this effort and time and you don’t get much back from the students, so sometimes it can be very frustrating. And I’m not saying that [everyone at] Kennedy is like that; I’ve had classes that were phenomenal as well.

Q: How do you think your teaching style has changed?

A: Coming here and being able to open up more and try new things and really fulfill my potential. I was feeling stagnant over [at Kennedy] … I knew what worked, I knew what didn’t, but I didn’t feel like trying to take a risk … but here I really have the opportunity to expand my talents and really better myself, so it’s perfect.

Q: How do you want to change Dougherty?

A: I feel like the students here are kind of in the bubble of San Ramon … I think maybe sometimes students here might be detached from more real life problems … and that’s just normal … What I’d like to see is a bridge program that involves tutoring — maybe a program where you tutor at a high school, with kids your same age, in a more impoverished neighborhood, and I think that would be awesome for both worlds to meet. [Students] could become friends, intertwine the communities and in the long run it could be incredibly beneficial.

Q: What do you think of the environment?

A: The staff is phenomenal … I’ve never worked with more professional, helpful, knowledgeable staff members. The community here is incredible, especially [its] cohesiveness.