We’d love for you to get to know our excellent faculty and staff here at Bayhill High School. Recently I interviewed Mele Satini, Science Teacher and Department Head.
What classes do you teach?
Biology, Environmental Science, Chemistry, and health. I am the advisor for student council.
How long have you been teaching?
Where did you grow up and where did you go to college?
I grew up in Tonga, Fiji, Australia, and the U.S. I came to the U.S. when I was 15. Later I went to La Sierra University in Riverside where I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Biology and a Master’s of Business Administration in Finance. After that I got my Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from University of the Pacific. I’d like to get my Ph.D from there too. Both of my parents were educators. My mom was a high school English teacher in Pasadena and has two masters degrees while my dad taught high school math and science in Tonga and has a doctorates degree in Divinity. My parents came to the U.S so my sisters and I could get a better education.
How many years have you been at Bayhill?
What is your teaching style?
I’m very student centered. I like hands-on, labs are a big thing. I listen to students and am open to what they have to say. I want their feedback and I strive to make their learning be fun, interesting and relevant to them.
What is your teaching philosophy?
All students can have access to content material. Science or whatever subjects can be made accessible to students. Secret lies in how the information is delivered. Every child can access and learn it to the best of their ability but more importantly – is my attitude. I determine the climate of the classroom. It’s a quote from Haim Ginott.
That leads me to my next question, what is your favorite quote?
“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.” – Haim G. Ginott.
What do you like most about Bayhill?
I love that I have the freedom and autonomy to teach according to the students’ pace. The freedom to do as many labs I want. I also like the small class size, getting to know my kids on a personal level, and the great teacher comraderie.
What advice would you give to students?
Work hard and never give up. Kids who work hard and don’t give up, they are the ones who are successful outside of Bayhill.
Any hobbies or outside interests?
Polynesian dancing. Did you know I performed for three Tongan kings? I also like helping my husband with construction stuff in our home when I’m in Tonga. I especially love being at home and hanging with my husband and our dogs at our favorite beach.
One thing people may not know about you?
I’m Mormon and I’m afraid of heights.
Funniest teaching moment?
I told the class I was acrophobic (afraid of heights) and a student asked if that meant I was afraid of exercise.
If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things would you want with you?
My husband, our three dogs, and a good book.