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TCP Broadcast: Feb. 12, 2024
TCP Broadcast: Feb. 12, 2024

Saying “ciao” to the Italian program

I+love+Italian%2C+its+my+passion%2C+said+Italian+teacher+Claudio+Lonardo.+Photo+by%3A+Brynn+Kightlinger
“I love Italian, it’s my passion,” said Italian teacher Claudio Lonardo. Photo by: Brynn Kightlinger

After many years, the Italian program is coming to an end at VHS

The Italian language program has been at VHS for many years. The current Italian teacher, Claudio Lonardo, has been teaching at VHS for 12 years. Currently, there are two Italian classes being taught at VHS: an Italian 2 class and a combined class of  Italian 3 and 4. Italian 1 is no longer a course offered for students at VHS. Once the sophomores in Italian 2 graduate, the Italian program will no longer be present at VHS. 

“Ventura High School has always been the school of languages. When I first got hired, I was very, very proud of being a language teacher because Ventura High School was recognized as the language school. We had Spanish, French, German and Italian. At one point, we had sign language,” said Lonardo.

VHS currently offers three different foreign languages: Spanish, French and Italian. Towards the end of the 2022-23 school year, Italian 1 was a course offered to all incoming freshmen and any other students who wished to take the class. According to Lonardo, 49 students signed up to take Italian 1, and 39 students were officially enrolled to take the Italian 1 course. 

“We do not have the numbers to sustain the [Italian] program across the board. So that is a reason why there’s been some changes in the master schedule in regards to Italian,” said VHS Principal Marissa Rodriguez.

“My original schedule said [I was enrolled in] Italian 1, but once I got my paper schedule on orientation, it said I was in French 1,” said Fiona Farrell ‘27. Farrell is one of the many freshman who originally signed up to take Italian 1 for the 2023-2024 year.

The Italian program is coming to an end at VHS. Photo by: Brynn Kightlinger

There are 25 students in Italian 2 and 26 students in Italian 3 and 4. The students currently in Italian classes will be able to complete the necessary language requirement for graduation. 

“We will continue to offer sections for [Italian] students that are currently enrolled for them to successfully complete year after year as long as we have the numbers to be able to provide the course,” said Rodriguez.

“I’m really sad [Italian is ending] because I think that it’s one of those programs [where] you form a strong bond with the whole class,” said Hailey Humphrey ‘24, an Italian 4 student. “[Mr. Lonardo] is an amazing teacher and I feel like he was doing a lot for the school. He provided a community to Ventura High School,” said Humphrey.

“I’ve been evaluated every other year from previous principals and assistant principals. When they come here, they always enjoy my class. The kids are learning, nobody’s complaining, they’re having fun and this is like a family. You know, I’m the only [Italian] teacher and I’ve been here for 12 years,” said Lonardo.

“Honestly, I think it’s unfair [that Italian] is being taken away,” said Humphrey

 “I know I have a program where kids are safe and they want to be there. I’m gonna do everything to keep the class,” said Lonardo.

 

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Brynn Kightlinger, Sports Lead
Brynn Kightlinger is a freshman at VHS in her first year at The Cougar Press. She is excited to interview people around campus. She enjoys playing sports, listening to music and sandwiches. 
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