It is hard to deny the amazing energy that resonates from the kind smile and warm hello that each student receives when they encounter Miss Back. She can easily be mistaken for a Hermosa Valley student with her youthful energy and is fondly known to the students as “Miss B”. She is an amazing Friendship Club leader and a favorite substitute teacher among students and staff!
I sat down with Miss B for an informal chat in the bowl at lunch. I had heard that sometimes she brings Chipotle for the entire Friendship Club so I was secretly hoping I may get lucky and score a burrito. Turns out Haley Back is only 24 years old and she has been a substitute teacher for about a year. Miss B even has a Baymax phone case from Big Hero Six, She is also an instructional aid for special education. In her free time when she is not at Hermosa Valley she tutors kids with special needs in math, reading, and writing and she volunteers working with another friendship foundation.
After she graduated college in North Carolina in 2015 she had her bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology and she worked with a lot of kids with special needs. Miss B found this extremely rewarding so once she moved back to California she decided to do a volunteer type activity. Hermosa Valley needed someone to run Friendship Club. This was a great fit because she not only got to come back to her elementary school but she also got to follow her passion of volunteer work and helping others. I asked why this club appealed to her and she said, “I love middle school age students and last year in 2015-2016 I had about 18 to 25 students and this year it is almost doubled!” Miss B exclaimed, “I am very excited this year about the activities I do that bind the gap between special and regular education.” She has been running Friendship Club for about a year. She plans on running the program until the 7th graders this year graduate 8th grade. Her shoes are going to be very hard to fill for her replacement.
Miss B likes that she has so many kids this year but they are very high energy and a bit rowdy so she is trying to get them a bit more focused before taking on more kids. Friendship Club is not new to Miss B. She participated in the club for three years at Mira Costa High School. She graduated in 2010. She has been known to go back and visit the students that she had in middle school once they get to Mira Costa High School. She also went to Hermosa Valley School too.
Miss Back has been so nice and she is loved by everyone and you can tell easily by taking a look around the campus everyone that sees Miss Back are smiling, laughing, and having an overall good time. If I had to pick the perfect person to run Friendship Club I would undoubtedly pick Miss Back because I know that she would always have my back.