Welcoming Ms. Just


Arijana Sulejmani, Staff Writer

This year, there have been many new faces at Hawthorne High School. Ms. Danielle Just, PE/Health teacher extraordinaire, happens to be one of them.

Ms. Just is not only a PE and health teacher, but she is a tennis coach as well for the girls here at HHS. The 2021-2022 school year is Ms. Just’s first.

The Clarion asked Ms. Just some questions to get to know her better and welcome her here at HHS.Here are some things that The Clarion discussed with Ms. Just.


The Clarion: “Something very big right now in the world is Covid…how has Covid is affected you and how does it feel to be teaching during these times?”

Ms. Just:“As a teacher, the covid pandemic definitely forced us to be a bit more creative when everything moved to a virtual platform last year.  So it challenged me as a professional, as it did all teachers and working professionals.  But at the same time it forced me to become a bit more tech savvy and now I incorporate more technology into the classroom, which was one positive that came from it. More importantly though, it taught me the value of social interaction and everyday experiences and freedoms that we often take for granted. I definitely value the time I spend with loved ones now more than I have in the past, and I’m less inclined to take those experiences for granted.  Teaching during these times can be stressful and uncertain, but I know there are people in the medical field working even harder, and others who are experiencing the loss of loved ones. So I try to stay positive and remind myself how personally fortunate I have been throughout the entire experience.”


The Clarion: “What  inspired you to be a teacher?”

Ms.Just: “I’ve always enjoyed working with children from a very young age.  I love the way they view the world and how imaginative and genuine they are.  I really do believe they teach us more than we teach them.  I’ve also always had a passion for sports and physical activity – being involved in competitive sports my entire life.  So choosing a profession that involved both physical activity and working with children didn’t sound like work to me, it sounded like fun. My mother was also a math teacher, and I think her influence also helped guide me towards the education profession. And in addition to both of these, when I was young, I thought Miss Honey from the movie Matilda was the sweetest and wanted to be just like her some day.”

The Clarion:“What is your favorite thing about teaching here at HHS?”

Ms. Just: “My favorite thing about teaching at HHS is the students.  Overall, they are kind and down to earth and find ways to make me laugh on a daily basis. They make my job enjoyable. My fellow coworkers have also shown me unbelievable support and patience as I transitioned into a new environment and that has made everything so much easier.”


The Clarion:“What were your first impressions of  HHS?”

Ms. Just:“Honestly, I thought the high school looked like it was straight out of a movie, and I found that both cute and exciting. I’ve attended and worked in a private school setting in the past, so I was genuinely excited to involve myself in the culture and experiences of a public school.  It was also evident that the majority of those who graduated from this district really enjoyed their high school experience, so much so that they returned to work here, and I think that speaks to the atmosphere and sense of community here at HHS. And so far, I’ve really enjoyed the overall sense of community and pride here at Hawthorne High School.”