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Dena de Vera

Dena de Vera is a first year teacher at Valencia High School. She teaches 9th grade English and 11th grade American Literature. She joined MSA during summer before the 2018-2019 school year kicked off. Mrs. de Vera grew up in Santa Clarita Valley since she was 7 years old. She graduated from Saugus High long before joining the Viking family. In her spare time, she spends time on the mountains with her husband snowboarding. And when she is home, she is always reading a book or baking lots of goodies in the kitchen. Like her baked goods, Mrs. de Vera manages to mix together her literature with the spices of medical science.

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Jeff Gilkey

Jeff Gilkey is in his 23rd year of teaching high school and has taught all grade levels, but this year, he teaches English10 and American Literature. It is his 11th year at Valencia, and before this, he taught at three other schools. He was also a cross country and track and field coach for most of that time. When Mr. Gilkey first went to college, he wanted to be an athletic trainer but then changed to journalism. The athletic training experience plus ten years of being a sports writer and 20 years of coaching all contribute to his passion for MSA and the important jobs these students do now and will be doing in their future.

English 9, American Literature

English 10, American Literature


Sam Hein

Sam Hein is in his third year of teaching at Valencia High. He teaches 11th grade American Literature and 12th grade Expository English. He is the Mock Trial coach, and he joined the MSA team this year as well. Mr. Hein is getting married in the summer, just moved back to Santa Clarita, and also welcomed a furry new member to his family in 2018 named Beans. In his spare time, Mr. Hein enjoys going on hikes around the greater Los Angeles area, and attending live comedy shows. While Sam’s expertise lies in literature, he’s been inspired to work different medical concepts into his curriculum with his MSA students this year.


Laura Macias

American Literature, Expository English

Spanish 2

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