Inh Chomthanath, reading intervention teacher at Idyllwild School. Photo by JP Crumrine

Idyllwild School has a new reading intervention teacher. This is Inh Chomthanath’s first year as a reading teacher, but she has 13 years experience as a classroom teacher.
This is also Chomthanath’s first year with the Hemet Unified School District (HUSD). She moved to California from North Carolina to be closer to her husband’s mother, whose health needs closer attention.
Love and care of family are two dominant traits, which Chomthanath exudes. She has two children of her own. These traits also permeate into her teaching.
Born in Laos, Chomthanath’s mother and siblings immigrated to the United States in 1990. She was only 6 years old. They settled in North Carolina, although there were a couple of years in Minnesota, where she attended high school. Chomthanath earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
She loves the school and town. “It’s really good so far. I didn’t expect to work at a school like Idyllwild,” she said. “I feel so welcome. I love the village. I’m surprised by the feeling of family at the school.”
Her impression of the community and its pride in the school was formed before she took the position. As she was making her decision on whether to accept the offer at Idyllwild, she had lunch at the Mile High Café. Her server volunteered, “What a good school, what a good community. We need more teachers like you,” Chomthanath said.
She noted that six teachers on the Idyllwild School faculty were former students. “It says a lot when students are willing to come back,” she added.
As a reading intervention teacher, Chomthanath’s role is to help the students improve their reading and literacy levels. Reading is fundamental to learning and any trouble with reading will impact performance and development in other subjects.
Helping people has been Chomthanath’s dream and goal since she was a youngster. She knows what it is like to come to a new culture and to learn a new language.
“I’ve dreamed of teaching English since I was young,” she said. She has helped her family with the language, interpreting forms, reading applications and more. In college, she volunteered and helped students.
Coming to a new country is not easy for children, Chomthanath knows. “All the parent wants is to have a safe place for their children,” she said.
“Nobody gets it easy. You have to work and earn. Everyone wants that opportunity,” she added.