By Laurie Udesky
EdSource is conducting a series of interviews featuring educators’ experiences with the Common Core State Standards. San Jose Unified is one of six districts that EdSource is following during implementation of the new standards. For more information about the Common Core, check out our guide.
Vito Chiala has been the principal of Overfelt High School in San Jose for eight years. Prior to that he was assistant principal of the school for three years, and before that he taught there for three years.
Chiala’s first teaching assignment was at Foothill High School in San Jose. Chiala, however, said he had not intended to be an educator. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in English at San Francisco State University, he managed restaurants at San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis Hotel. But Chiala felt something was missing. “I didn’t feel like I was making an impact on society,” he said. A friend told him about an opening at Foothill High School in East San Jose, a continuation school, where he would work with students who had been failing academically. His job was to help prepare them for taking the high school equivalency, or GED, test.