Staff & Teachers Of The Month: December


Mia Naples, Reporter

Aleksandra Goman, Maria Avos, Kathleen Aghakhan, Hilda Canderlaria-Diaz, and Summer Lazar were chosen as Taft’s teachers and staff members of the month for December. 


Goman has been a teacher in Taft for two years, one year as a student teacher in the Varsity Campus and one year in the Freshman Academy teaching World Studies. She is the sponsor of the Relay for Life and Cancer clubs. She has been offering other teachers technical support to help make learning fun and engaging for their students. 

“I am so honored to be chosen as a teacher of the month. It was quite a surprise and I am very grateful for the award,” said Goman via email. 


Maria Avos has been teaching at Taft for 21 years. Asvos started in the Academic Center when it opened with 17 students. She taught in the Academic center for sixteen years and has taught seniors the past 6 years. 

“It was an honor to be recognized by administration, along with Kathleen Aghakhan, Hilda Candelaria-Diaz, Aleksandra Gomez and Summer Lazar, as Teachers of the Month,” said Avos via email.


Hilda Candelaria-Diaz has been at Taft for sixteen years. She started off as a teacher’s assistant in 2004 and then in 2007, a position in the main office opened leading her to become one of the clerks in the main office. As she was a teacher’s assistant, she helped a student with muscular dystrophy and took notes for him due to this condition. She also was able to translate class work in Spanish. She enjoyed working with students in the Diverse Learners program at Taft, but she wanted to pursue her goal in becoming a clerk. She’s a former sponsor of the Puerto Rican Club. 

“It’s an honor to be Staff of the month to the best high school in the City of Chicago,” said Candelaria-Diaz via email.


Aghakhan has been teaching in Taft for seventeen years in the Language Arts Department. She is an IBDP English, Dual Credit English 101 and 102 teacher. Her most prominent role within Taft has been in the classroom and academic area teaching seniors and juniors. This is her fifteenth year teaching the IBDP seniors English.

“I am honored and grateful for the recognition. So many teachers work so hard everyday. It’s part of what we do! I am also so happy to be a part of the Dual Credit program. This has been such a unique year so far, but we have been able to continue to give students opportunities to receive college credit in high school.” said Aghakhan via email.