Ms.Turchin and Ms.Mkrtchyan Join the Clark Family


Meri Sahakyan

Ms. Turchin is excited to teach her students about the natural world through Chemistry and Biology.

Clark Magnet has always been known for its emphasis on science and technology, preparing students for a career in the field of STEM. With each passing year, more pathways have been and keep being established, but science and technology continue to thrive.

Mr. Gruss, the science department chair, has been a physics teacher at Clark for 23 years. He has seen the department’s ups and down, learning what works and what doesn’t. 

The science department is excited to have new science teachers join the faculty. Ms. Mkrtchyan joined the Clark family in the 2021-2022 school year, teaching Chemistry 1-2 and AP Chemistry. Mr. Gruss said that she “was known in the Southern California area for her expertise in teaching AP Chemistry.” 

Junior Leona Dilanyan in Ms. Mkrtchyan’s Chemistry 1-2 shared that her time in the classroom has been very interactive and enjoyable. “She wants us to learn…she helps everyone out one-by-one, so it’s all about interacting,” Dilanyan said.

Junior Romina Sahebalfosul, who is in AP Chemistry, has been going to Ms. Mkrtchyan’s enrichment since the school year started. She shares how Ms. Mkrtchyan’s friendly personality makes it comfortable for students to reach out to her. “I’ve had her for the past two years… so I’d like to think we’re on good terms, ” Sahebalfosul said jokingly. Sahebalfosul enjoys the enthusiasm and dedication that Ms. Mkrtchyan shows in her classroom.

The science department welcomed another Chemistry 1-2 teacher, Ms. Turchin, who also teaches Living Earth. Ms. Turchin received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from UCSD and a Master’s in Education for Inspired Teaching and Learning from National University. 

Although only starting this year, Ms. Turchin feels very excited about teaching her students. Ms. Turchin said, “Clark has been great so far and I have enjoyed how eager most students are to learn. I feel like I am a part of a great community of learners.” Ms. Tuchin became a science teacher to encourage students to be curious about science and gain interest in it. She believes that “you can look at pretty much anything in the natural world through sciences like chemistry, biology, and physics,”and she wants to share this wonder with her students.

Leann Hu from Ms. Turchin’s Chemistry 1-2 class said “I really like her class, she’s quite nice and helpful. If you don’t understand something, she slows down and explains the concept again.” Hu feels comfortable reaching out and talking to Ms. Turchin when help is needed.

Clark’s science department is a crucial part of students’ knowledge in STEM, and with new teachers, students have a greater opportunity to develop a love for science and learning.