CHS Alum Ms. Jones Returns As Choir Teacher


photo by Zoe Chung

Ms. Jones is returning to Cypress, this time as a teacher. She came here after teaching at Katella.

by Zoe Chung, Front Page Editor

Hollie Jones, the new choir director at Cypress High, has a lot of experience in the choir room. Her role at Cypress High is not limited to being the choir director, but extends to teaching AP Music Theory and Guitar. 

Ms. Jones attended Cypress High back when she was a high school student. “I myself was a Centurion. I went here and graduated from Cypress, so it was an appeal to be back at my alma mater….” Her old choir teacher, Janae Morales (formerly known as Janae West), was also a big factor. As a big inspiration in her life, Morales stayed in touch with Ms. Jones, assisting her throughout college as well as projects. “I got to observe her and other choir teachers in the district when doing my observation hours for college as well. She also called me when the position opened at Katella, and we worked together. She’s just been a really big mentor for me.” 

Jones’ prior experiences as a choir director include teaching at Katella High School, as well as being a part of the show choir at Cypress. When asked about the characteristics of choir she could share to her students, Jones shared that it is a very accepting place free of judgment. “I really encourage students to be themselves. We sing, we dance, we do crazy, fun activities together. It’s just a place where anyone can come together and showcase their talent.” 

A few of her plans for the choir throughout 2022-23 include bonding events for students, watching movies, and the four major shows. “We have a fall show, a winter show, their competition show, and their spring show. Their competition show is a showcase in which they will be competing in the second semester, which starts in February.” This particular show is especially something that she looks forward to. “It’s about 5-6 songs back-to-back with no breaks and it really just gets to showcase the kids’ talent. I really look forward to not only seeing my group on stage, but seeing other groups in our surrounding communities in Socal.

To Jones, choir serves as a significant rite of passage for high schoolers. Not only does she encourage joining choir but anywhere that can put the students “out there.” “Being in clubs, being in things that maybe interest you, but push you a little bit out of your comfort zone are really a rite of passage for high school because I believe it prepares you for the real world.”

As a young teacher, Jones encountered a few challenges throughout her career, the biggest being her students seeing her more as a friend than a teacher. “They might consider me as a friend versus a teacher, and getting them to shift that mindset and view me as a teacher first has been a struggle, but we’re reaching that point.” 

For students that might contemplate joining choir, Ms. Jones advises to not let stage fright prevent them from experimenting between courses. “Watch a choir show, if you see some things that you like, reach out to me to join. But also know that it’s not as intimidating as it appears to be. Choir is not just one person, it’s working together. You’re not doing it alone.”