Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

‘Total drama geek’: Alana Caires takes the stage as new drama teacher

English teacher Alana Caires said she began her acting journey in elementary school, performing in a musical production of “Hansel and Gretel.” Now, that journey has come full circle as she takes over the drama department after retired drama teacher Leslie Lloyd’s 23 years of leadership. 

“[I’ve done theater] since I was in elementary school to high school and then a little bit in college,” Caires said. “Before college, I considered being a drama teacher, but I never thought I would actually get a job being a drama teacher, yet here we are.”

English and drama teacher Alana Caires said she believes theater has the power to bring out a different side of people and to tell important stories in an enjoyable way. (Photo by Alicia Liste)

In her new role, Caires said she hopes to empower students to step out of their comfort zones and take on leadership roles in class. 

“[The students] should be at the center of what we’re doing in drama,” Caires said. “[We’ll start to see] more opportunities for them to take risks in more challenging positions.”

In addition, Caires said she plans to bring together students from the drama, band and choir classes to reintroduce the spring musical, which was last held before the pandemic. Other productions, including a final performance for the beginning drama class, may also take place in the future, Caires added.

Drama club member Jackson Reavis said he is excited to have a new drama teacher with a new voice. 

“Every director is different, every teacher is different,” Reavis, a junior, said. “We’ll definitely have to guide [Caires] through drama, because we have a lot of traditions. But we will also learn to adapt instead of just hanging on to the past.”

Senior Hera Gatto, a student in Caires’s English class last year, said Caires is kind, understanding and supportive. 

“She will bring a really positive energy to the drama department because she is a very positive person,” Gatto said. 

In her first year leading the drama department, Caires said she is excited to see the energy and motivation of her students. As the advisor of drama club, Caires is looking forward to the bonds formed by shared theater experiences, she added.

“Performing in shows together and being really vulnerable with each other leads to a bond that is something that you don’t experience in a lot of other places,” Caires said. “I’m looking forward to getting to nurture that community in drama.”

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Andrew Fekete
Andrew Fekete, Reporter
Andrew Fekete is a freshman here and a reporter for The Epitaph. Andrew is a part of the football team and multiple fantasy leagues. He also loves to travel and spend time with family and friends. Andrew has a huge passion for sports, especially football and one day hopes to find a career in football, maybe as a journalist.
Alicia Liste
Alicia Liste, Reporter
Alicia is a sophomore and a first-year staffer on The Epitaph. She is looking forward to learning from this year’s challenges and new experiences. In her free time, Alicia enjoys thrifting, taking public transit and eating good food.
Kevin Miao
Kevin Miao, Reporter
Kevin is a junior and a first-year reporter for The Epitaph. He likes to eat food, playing games, hiking and camping.
Nicole Pimenta Innecco
Nicole is a senior and a third-year staffer for The Epitaph. She loves the opportunity the newspaper has given her to engage with her community in unique ways and to learn all the different stories and viewpoints on campus. Outside of the paper, she can often be found falling into rabbit holes of research on random topics or finding new places to explore.
Rajiv Venkatesh
Rajiv Venkatesh, Editor-in-Chief
Rajiv is a senior, and he is excited to return for his third year on The Epitaph's staff, this time as an Editor-in-Chief. This year, he is looking forward to making an impact on campus through the paper. Rajiv enjoys reading, running and hanging out with friends in his spare time. He loves to learn new things and to explore new places.
Annabelle Yip
Annabelle Yip, Social Media Editor
Annabelle is a senior and the social media editor at The Epitaph. In her second year, she is excited to continue highlighting the interesting stories of HHS. In her free time, Annabelle enjoys playing volleyball, shopping and listening to music.

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