11-3-2017 – Corona – Meet Bronya Hamel! She is the Music Director and International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) Coordinator at Raney Intermediate!
Bronya was born in Austin, Texas. She moved to Maine when she was seven.
“It was the same area my parents grew up in,” she said, “My mom and I both had the same teacher for high school Biology and three of my other teachers in high school graduated with my parents. It was a really small town.”
After high school, Bronya attended the University of Maine in Orono.
“I love going back to visit. Maine is a beautiful state, with many parks and places to enjoy nature. I prefer going back in the summer though,” she said.
Bronya was never a fan of the winters.
“My parents live on a lake not far from Acadia National Park, so we enjoy kayaking and hiking when I visit them,” she said.
After she graduated college, Bronya swore she would never teach middle school. When Bronya moved to Southern California, she job searched for over a year.
“Finally, I was offered the music position at Raney. I took it, and though my first year teaching was harder than I ever expected it to be, I have come to love middle school kids,” she said, “I’m glad I work at Raney. Middle school kids are great.”
She has worked at Raney Intermediate for 14 years.
One of her favorite things throughout the school year is going to Science Camp with the IBMYP students.
“Watching them grow through new experiences and conquering their fears in order to accomplish things they’ve never tried before is one of the most rewarding things,” said Bronya.
A typical day for Bronya begins at 4:30 a.m. She has a long commute to work.
“I like listening to audiobooks while in the car,” she said, “I get a lot of ‘reading’ done that way during the school year.”
Bronya has a Period Zero (P0) Band Rehearsal so she opens up her classroom at 6:30 a.m.
“P0 is my favorite class of the day because I know every single kid in that room really wants to be there,” she said.
After P0, Bronya teaches two piano classes and two band classes.
“Then I start my job as IB Program Coordinator,” said Bronya.
Every day, Bronya works hard to steer her students towards a better path.
“If I’ve made even a small positive impact on just one kid, I consider that a win,” she said, “One day, one kid at a time.”
Bronya is always busy. Her evenings are always different depending on what day of the week it is. They can consist of band rehearsals, private music lessons, Scuba Club meetings, and sometimes meeting up with friends to do night diving at the beach. Bronya plays tuba for the Huntington Beach Concert Band.
Her favorite hobby is Underwater Photography.
“My fiancé and I enjoy searching for new underwater creatures to photograph every time we dive,” she said, “I am an amateur for sure, but being able to capture the things we see while diving, and sharing those experiences with our friends and family who don’t dive is very rewarding.”
Bronya has a cat.
“Clara is a beautiful black cat that I adopted after my friend found her as a little baby living in her yard,” she said, “She’s very smart and is usually up to no good while I’m away at work.”
Her favorite quote is “No matter who you are, somebody is learning from you. Everybody is a student, everybody is a teacher; what are you teaching the people around you?”
“This is something I try to impress on my students and to follow myself,” said Bronya, “Am I presenting myself as someone I would want to learn from?”
A few words of encouragement from Bronya:
“You make a difference. Even if you don’t see any change, you are still influencing the people around you. Be kind, do good, and stay positive.”