• December 7Band department hosting craft fair in the commons on Saturday, December 8th here at Hylton from 9-4 p.m.

Abalos Encourages Individuals to Share their Stories

Abalos believes in the power of words and expression.

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Abalos Encourages Individuals to Share their Stories

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Evodie Katanda, Staff Writer

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Hylton’s twice nominated faculty Homecoming Queen and charismatic English teacher, Kristinna Leigh Abalos makes students feel welcome in her classroom as she prepares them for what they will see in college.

Abalos chose Hylton because of its international core and various ethnic cultures. “It’s important to take pride where you go to school.  It’s rare doing life with people with different backgrounds and ethnic cultures. We have an advantage over the average person, while the rest of the world is divided,” said Abalos. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Abalos is half Korean and half Caucasian. Her husband is Filipino; together they have a 2-year old son.

During college, she worked with elementary students and became an expert in making animal noises. She shared that this fun experience came to an end during her sophomore year in college when she realized she needed to get back in high school to teach English as a professional course. “I was always good at English growing up,” said Abalos.

Many of her dual enrollment students describe her teaching style as interactive and noted how their perspectives have gradually changed as their writing has evolved in her class.

“She brings humor into her lessons, which makes them interesting. She works well with all of her students, which gets them all engaged,” said senior Connie Mercado.

Mrs. Abalos believes writing is all about communication; people should write about their thoughts, feelings and ideas. She is writing a book of her own titled Water, a fictional story of a girl who is half black and half Chinese. She was inspired to write it because there are not a lot of books with characters of mixed ethnicity. Abalos shared how fiction writing allows her to create ideal characters to associate with scenarios of her personal life.

Every year she participates in the National Novel Writing Month. She works with her students to guide them through the writing process.  “It is most important when I assign an assignment that I’m able to do it too,” said Abalos. The students start out by doing story board or a brainstorming process. Then when it is time to write, she reminds them that the focus should be on content; spelling and grammar should always come last.

Abalos shared that the writing process is therapeutic for her.  “As I’m writing, I’m able to tap things into my subconscious. It’s like having a conversation. When you’re speaking, you don’t realize you’re breaking things down step by step. The writing process helps you go down by each layer,” said Abalos.

Abalos is a stage IV ovarian cancer survivor. Outside of school, she writes her own personal post-cancer blog, “Ovarian Cancer is Nothing,” https://ovariancancerisnothing.wordpress.com/.

 

 

About the Writer
Evodie Katanda, Staff Writer

Evodie Katanda is a senior at C.D. Hylton Senior High School. This is her first year in journalism and working on The Watchdog staff.  Evodie is passionate...

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