By Gabriel Cohn, History Teacher
When Sierra Opbroek was in fifth grade, she wrote, “In one year, academically, I would like to be interested in all subjects and learn as much as possible.” She went on to list five languages she would like to learn, ten possible careers, and a list of interests that included “animal, earth, space, and religion related subjects, as well as culinary arts, foreign culture, archaeology, and architecture.” Clearly, young Sierra was someone who loved to learn and was excited about a wide range of experiences.
In the short time that I’ve gotten to know her, this has not changed. While Sierra is new to full-time teaching, she is clearly dedicated to having an open mind and seeking new experiences. When she was pursuing her degree in Marine Biology at UCSC, she shied away from locking herself into a particular “career.” In fact, this is what led her to substitute teach for the past few years—her love of having new adventures got her excited about working with a variety of students in different environments and learning a wide range of subjects. Lucky for us, she found that she really loved the PCS-vibe and was excited when the opportunity to work with 7th graders long term came up.
Besides academic pursuits, Sierra enjoys exercising, from weight lifting to rock climbing, yoga, and hiking. She’s also a scuba expert and quite the amateur photographer (she can talk your ear off about the value of public-access darkrooms). She also enjoys reading—mostly character-driven fiction (Wally Lamb came up as a consistent favorite), though she’s also recently discovered some good fantasy authors as well—and traveling, whether it be a road trip to see friends and family or a foreign adventure (like a wildlife veterinary medicine program in South Africa).
With all of these traits in mind, it’s clear that Sierra has found a good home here at PCS and will fit right in with a staff and student body that loves to learn, to experiment, and to grow.