AP Lit teacher swapped mid-year

Jessica Bailey becomes new librarian, while student teacher Andrew Shigo takes her place


Daphne So

Former student teacher Andrew Shigo now teaches the AP Lit class.

Andrew Ma, Head News Editor

Cal High has seen its fair share of teacher replacements over the years, but rarely are teachers swapped out mid-year.

AP Literature teacher Jessica Bailey became a teacher librarian this semester, replacing former librarian Stacey Quick, who moved out of state.

Bailey, who was in the middle of her seventh year teaching the class, was replaced by Andrew Shigo, who was previously a student teacher under Cal High English teacher Ginger Clark.

Bailey is still teaching Spanish I, but her Careers in Teaching class is now taught by math teacher Bob Allen.

“I have been a teacher for 19 years, so I was ready for something a little bit new,” Bailey said. “It seemed like one way I could challenge myself. I could serve my community, but I can also create some balance for myself and for my family.”

Bailey said she was considering the job when it first opened at Cal in 2019 but decided that she wasn’t ready. Quick took the job then, but moved to Texas duirng the first semester, leaving the position open once again.

“I was definitely planning on teaching for at least the entirety of this year,” Bailey said. “But, when [Quick and her husband] moved around September, that was just kind of the right time.”

Teacher librarian jobs, which require a teaching credential and involve teaching classes in the library, rarely become available locally, Bailey said. Librarian Nicole Ogden was also struggling to run the library and its lunchtime programs alone at the time, which pushed Bailey to apply for the position.

Bailey told her classes a few days before finals that she was leaving and that Shigo had been selected to teach the class.

“I really liked the way she taught, so I was sad that she was leaving,” said senior Eunice Oh, who is in AP Lit. “A lot of my friends and I were hoping she would have stayed for at least another semester just to finish the year off with us.”

Oh said her writing improved significantly with Bailey, who she said always saw students’ interpretation of texts as valid. Oh said this made Bailey’s students more comfortable sharing their ideas.

“I felt she was the kind of person who was a really good teacher but could also have fun with her students,” senior Andrew Frank said.

Frank took Spanish I with Bailey in his freshman year and is in AP Lit this year.

Bailey said she regrets having to leave her students in the middle of the year, but she is glad to start her new job. Although she loved teaching AP Lit and how intellectually challenging it was, Bailey said grading and making lesson plans for the class was taxing for her.

“[Teaching AP Lit] is something that has fulfilled me for a long time,” Bailey said. “I am excited for someone else to get the opportunity to get that fulfillment.”

Shigo became the AP Lit teacher at the beginning of second semester, continuing the class with analyzing poetry. He earned his master’s degree in fiction from St. Mary’s College of California and has studied teaching for about a year and a half.

“One thing I enjoy about teaching […] is connecting the skills of analysis in writing to things that students actually enjoy in their spare time,” Shigo said. “I’ve always been a reader and an avid watcher of movies, and when I realized I could break them down and analyze them like people would a clock, I just got really into it.”

Shigo applied for the AP Lit position at Cal and at Dougherty Valley, but he ultimately chose at Cal after being offered jobs at both because he was already ingrained in the community and because it allowed him to teach literature, which he loves.

“[Shigo] is really good at identifying various [areas] that students struggle with and helping them,” said Clark, who worked with Shigo for six months. “One student in particular he noticed was struggling with forming an essay, putting together an essay, so he developed some strategies to teach the class to help that student but also other students who might have had the same struggle.”

Clark believes Shigo has more than enough experience in teaching and English and is qualified to teach the class.

Students have been adapting to Shigo’s different teaching methods. Some are frustrated that the change in teachers slowed down the class because some of Shigo’s teaching overlaps with what they learned last semester.

“We’re all just kind of learning what his style is, and what he expects of us, which is different from what Mrs. Bailey expected from us,” Oh said.

Frank said he was worried that Bailey’s replacement would be a long-term substitute who wasn’t familiar with the material, but Shigo mitigated his concerns.

“He knows the material which is good,” Frank said. “I was worried when we were getting a new teacher,  we would be getting someone who didn’t really know AP Lit.”

Oh agreed that students need time to acclimate to a new teacher.

“If I was in his position, if I had to take over an AP class of seniors, like jaded seniors who are tired of school, that would be really scary,” she said. “I feel like we have to give him some time to adjust to us, just as we have to adjust to him.”

Shigo intends to move to analyzing Victorian Era fiction and essay critique analysis next.

“Mr. Shigo is taking the time to learn about ourselves and trying to connect with us,” senior Lauren Lee said.

The AP Lit students still see Bailey in the library sometimes.

“I just want to say how grateful I am for my Cal High family, both students and colleagues,” Bailey said. “They’ve been super supportive in this major transition. I’m proud to be a Grizzly. I’m glad that I still get to be a Grizzly.”