Alumni Who Can’t Stay Away


Lily Maxson

Most high school grads are eager to leave the place they spent the last four years of their lives, never to return except for perhaps the occasional class reunion. However, some Culver High grads, it seems, never wanted to leave. These alumni now work as staff and faculty at their beloved alma mater. They have a unique perspective on high school, with many returning because of a passionate fondness for their community.

Coach Jahmal Wright graduated from CCHS in 1995. A major factor in his decision to teach at his previous high school was his positive experience as a student athlete. As a physical education and football coach, he hopes to share that experience with others. His favorite part about teaching at CCHS is the amount of diversity on campus. “Learning to interact with people from different backgrounds is an essential tool that I feel young people need to have to be successful in life, and I love that CCHS offers that opportunity,” he said.

Ms. Jennifer Kochevar was part of the class of 1998. Now, she is a social studies teacher and girls soccer coach. Since she attended, there have been a variety of positive changes made. “There are much better sports facilities now, more lockers, more bungalows, more students, better technology, and the Robert Frost Auditorium has had a major update,” she said. Ms. Kochevar was inspired by the excellent teachers she had as a teenager. Taking this into account, her goal is to be a positive influence in her students’ lives.

Mr. Ehsaan Mesghali graduated from CCHS in 2005. Since then, Culver City High School has remained a diverse and loving community. According to the school website, “He was tasked with creating the Architecture and Design pathway in 2017 under the CTE curriculum.” His favorite part of his day is coming to school early and saying good morning to his students on the walk to his classroom. “Every day it’s someone new and every person is a new opportunity for an awesome chance conversation,” said Mr. Mesghali. In his experience, everyone in the community is always trying their best to do good for one another. “Culver City to the moon. Best city in the world!” he said.

Dr. Kelli Tarvyd, one of the assistant principals at CCHS,  graduated in 1986. Since her father was a professor at Santa Monica College, he served as a role model for her at a young age, and she remembers having education emphasized and instilled in her household. This inspired her to want to return to Culver. Many members of Dr. Tarvyd’s family have graduated from CCHS- three siblings, two nieces, and one nephew. Next year, her child will be an incoming freshman.

A few new programs have been developed at CCHS since the eighties. “We did not have the incredible Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) back then or the CTE pathways for students to learn important skills for industry,” said Dr. Tarvyd. As an administrator, she loves to see students having fun and enjoying school activities and athletic events. “I take pride in our school and our city,” she said.

Culver City High School is fortunate to have teachers and staff members that care a great deal about the wellbeing of their students and their community. Alumni returning to CCHS to teach reflects positively on the school as a whole, making a better high school experience for students.