The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

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The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

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Robinson Welcomes New Spanish Teacher Jason Kochalka

Jason Kochalka’s first year at Robinson teaching Spanish.
Photo Briana Garcia
Jason Kochalka points at his board in his classroom.

There are many new editions to the Robinson this school year, including veteran Spanish 1 and 2 teacher, Jason Kochalka. With 15 years of international teaching experience, five of them in Hillsborough County, Kochalka begins the school year with excitement about the new age group, switching from Madison Middle School to his first high school, Robinson.

His studies at the University of Michigan kickstarted his venture out of the States, living in Spain and Ecuador. Kochalka enjoys numerous hobbies including bonding with his wife and watching sports.

“I love watching sports, especially soccer. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and walking around the neighborhood with my dog,” said Kochalka, who’s also a former car salesmen and online poker player.

In addition to his numerous hobbies, Kochalka is a Hillsborough County Mental Health Counselor, more specifically an instructor in the Teen Mental Health First Aid Program.  Kochalka’s favorite part of the program is the involvement with students.

“I love to encounter all sorts of personalities from diverse backgrounds,” Kochlka said. “My father and wife are both psychologists, I’ve been adjacent to mental health. I have a lot of empathy and understanding.”

He believes the best thing for teens is having someone to listen to.

“With advanced technology, people have lost their patience, especially when dealing with mental health,” Kochalka said.

Besides being a mental health counselor, Kochalka’s favorite part of teaching is watching young adults and kids express themselves in a community.

“I really like to help them in that process of finding themselves and watch their growth,” Kochalka said.

His first few weeks at Robinson have been a welcoming and new experience and the student body has made it easier to accustom.

“The student body has been extremely welcoming and everyone is nice and friendly which makes it easier to settle into a new school,” Kochalka said.


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About the Contributor
Briana Garcia
Briana Garcia, Senior Staff Writer
Briana Garcia is a junior at Robinson and a Senior Staff Writer of Knight Writers. This is her second year on staff. Garcia was brought to Journalism by a lack of interest in any other elective the school offered. However, she found an open and creative environment when she came into the newsroom. "I thought there were terrible options, but I feel like there are a good group of people in journalism, like to be in this class you have to have some kind of initiative, some character," Garcia said. During her time on staff, Garcia has been able to pursue her interest in photography. While she enjoys a more artistic approach to photography, she has found an appreciation for sports multimedia. "More specifically sports, I love taking photos and doing photo galleries of games," Garcia said Her passion for photography expands past her schoolwork, as she spends time documenting her own world through the art form. Garcia expresses her creativity most often through fashion. She finds her favorite unique pieces when thrifting, a craft that she has mastered. She also loves to express herself in more permanent ways. Garcia has several patchwork-style tattoos representing her music taste and personal style even further than just her clothes. "I bought my friend a tattoo gun for her birthday, she just gives me any tattoos I want. Most of my tattoos are band or music artist related, I'm really into music and I like to express that," Garcia said. Garcia dreams of going to fashion school to express her full potential in the industry. "My dream school is Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York; I want to go into fashion business or fashion design. I don't know how to draw, but I am really good at sewing and all the business aspects of it," Garcia said. (Profile by Ashlyn Miller)
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