Get to know Ms. Lujain

On Feb. 11 we had the honor of interviewing Lujain Kebhaj, an outstanding biology teacher at Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA). After graduating high school she attended UC Irvine, graduating at 19. Not long after graduating, she got her master’s degree at UCLA. However, she never got to see the wonderful campus because she completed her degree during the pandemic.

Before coming to work at GALA, Ms. Kebhaj had worked once as a substitute teacher which she described as a “very crazy experience.” This year is her first year being a consistent teacher, which she says has been an amazing experience so far because of how the students have impacted her life. “GALA has been an amazing opportunity all around. It is such a great environment and although there may be students with issues at home they still show up and attempt their best and I love being able to be a part of the journey with them.”

During Ms Kebhaj’s first year here she has been teaching many great classes. These include Biology, eighth grade Science, and AP Environmental Science. Biology is her favorite subject, although it is not her favorite subject to teach.

One of Ms. Kebhaj’s life goals that she has achieved was to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees by the age of 21. Although she has traveled to places before she wants to travel the world. This summer she hopes to visit Greece, Italy, Columbia, and Bolivia.

When Ms. Kebhaj was 14, she changed to a new high school where she was given the opportunity to enroll in both high school and college courses. She took this opportunity and enrolled in a college course where she had the opportunity to meet many interesting people, including a 65-year-old woman named Debby. This was a completely different experience, but it taught her to grow up and be independent. While in high school she made a plan for herself to graduate with her master’s by 21. Although at the time she didn’t know what she was going to learn, she still pursued that goal and accomplished it. The idea to become a teacher came from her math and dance teachers when they talked about how being a teacher was amazing because they got summers off. Immediately, Ms. Kebhaj thought, “I want to be you.” Ms. Kebhaj’s parents were teachers, so being a teacher felt very natural to her.

In her free time, she enjoys dancing, singing, and making the family and friends around her happy. In fact, she very occasionally throws in some singing science-related activities as a warm-up to get ready and learn science. Ms. Kebhaj, like most people, is addicted to TV shows, some of her favorites include Criminal Minds and The Vampire Diaries.

The last thing Ms. Kebhaj would like to share with you is that she is the coolest teacher here, which many students can agree on. We are so thrilled to have her as a teacher here at GALA!