Mrs. Hussunet experiences a new life at DV as a teacher-librarian


Teju Anand

Mrs. Hussunet enjoys her new job position as a teacher-librarian at DVHS.

After being a French and English teacher at DVHS  for three years, Allison Hussunet is currently DV’s new teacher-librarian along with Kerri Knapp. 

According to Hussunet, she was fascinated by the position of a teacher-librarian and had considered pursuing it, but further in the future. 

“I always thought that Mrs. Knapp had such a cool job because she would come into the classes and teach lessons, but also be in the library, getting people to read and there are fun events in here for students,” Hussunet said.  So I had reached out to her last year just for the future and she said, by the way, there is going to be a second teacher-librarian position opening and who knows when that would ever happen again. So if you want to, I would do it now. So I kind of just jumped on it.” 

Hussunet attended Miramonte High School in Orinda and then went to USC in LA for her undergraduate. After graduating, she went to France and taught for a year. Upon her return, she got her teaching credentials and her masters.

“I come from a family of teachers, so it was always something that I was exposed to growing up,”  Hussunet shared. “But I honestly did not think that I would be a teacher. But then at USC, there is this program where you could get extra credit by teaching a class at a local school. And so I taught this French class to these kids in LA and just fell in love with it and decided this is actually what I should be doing.”

As stated by Mrs. Hussunet, teaching French was her first choice. However, because of the fear that there might not be full-time jobs available to teach French, she decided to get a second credential so that she could teach both French and English, which also happened to be something she loved.

After getting her credentials at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, she taught in Mount Diablo High School in Concord for a year. 

“Mount Diablo is a title one school, where the school itself is socioeconomically disadvantaged,” Hussunet reflected. “And so that was definitely tough because I had students who did not do their homework, because they were actually working multiple jobs after school to support their family, or they had a parent that was working at night. So there was a lot of pressure and just like a lot of trauma that they may have lived through. But I loved teaching there too. Many of my students were Hispanic, and so invited me to like their Keynesian heroes and stuff. So that was really fun.”

The following year, she applied to work at Dougherty Valley after learning about an open French position through Imin Moriya. 

“She is a very dynamic, wonderful person that I’m happy to have on campus,” Moriya said. “I chased after her because this is my 10 year at DV and I’m very invested in the French program. She contacted me to come to observe AP French and she was so delightful. So when there was a position open, I thought that I would love for her to be with the students and it would be great for the French program and I just really wanted to work with her and become friends with her. So I called her up.”

After joining DV, she taught a variety of courses. She taught French 1 and 3 her first year; French 1, 2 and with AP Research her second year; and  French 2, 4 Honors and English 11 her third year. 

“My favorite thing about teaching is just making connections with students,” Hussunet recounts. “There were a couple of teachers that I loved in high school, who I am still in contact with and still are supportive of me. And same with college professors. So I think just the social aspect of like always being professional, but forming trusting, happy connections with students is probably my favorite.”

Now, Hussunet is beginning a new chapter of her life being as a teacher-librarian. It was easy for her to get this position seeing as she already had her teaching credentials and simply needed to  enroll in an online teacher-librarian program to get her third one. 

“She was born to be a teacher-librarian. She has always had a research brain,” Jill Wharton, her mother, believes. “ She taught one of the AP research courses here along with her French classes. And when she was at USC, she won some research awards. Plus, she used to read the dictionary for fun when she was five years old. So this is a good fit for her,”

Even though Hussunet no longer has a structure she can follow, she states that she enjoys the curiosity of not knowing what her day is like because of a multitude of different tasks. Apart from working in the library, she either goes to classrooms to help students with their research, helps students chose an outside reading book or attends meetings. 

“I love the teaching aspect. I don’t think I would ever want to be a librarian somewhere, not at a school because I like the teaching aspect. But I do like how each day is different,” Hussunet said. “even though I don’t have my classroom, I feel like Mrs. Knapp has created such a welcoming library that all day I am seeing students, I am seeing other staff members, I am seeing all sorts of people. And so that makes it really fun, just building connections from the library,” 

While Hussunet is enjoying her time at the library, Knapp is also relishing the company of a new teacher Librarian. 

“Having a second librarian has been like a dream of mine for years because I have been so overwhelmed,” Knapp stated. “I’m exhausted trying to keep up with thousands of students and hundreds of teachers. We interviewed a lot of people, and she was definitely our top choice. She is great at interacting with students. She’s respected by the staff. She believes in the power of literacy and literature and being good digital citizens and global citizens. A big part of our job is customer service and she’s able to do that to the highest caliber that we would require somebody,”

According to Hussunet, even though she no longer has her content area like she had while teaching, she hopes that she will be able to incorporate it now. She is trying to start a French book club at the library open to all. 

She envisions that she and the students would meet once a month. They would initially start reading a book in English but taking place somewhere in France so that the students who don’t know French would also feel comfortable to join, and eventually they would start reading French books. 

She’s trying different things so that she can still teach French. She believes that she’s finding her way. But overall, Hussunet stated that she enjoys working at DV, irrespective of her position. 

“I live in Lafayette, which is a good 45-minute commute sometimes an hour and so a lot of times friends who do not teach are like why don’t you go teach somewhere where you live,” she laughed. “ But I just love teaching here. I love the community. We have a really fun staff who have become my friends. And I love the students. I would not really want to teach anywhere else.”