“If at first you don’t succeed, you are running about average.” –M. H. Alderson
Though I am proud to be teaching students who plan to be college-ready at the end of their high school careers, I can readily relate to those who struggle to find direction and purpose in their education. I graduated from Cathedral City High School (a small town near Palm Springs) without really accomplishing much – my grades were not good enough to go to university, and work was the only real option I had after the bus ride back from Grad Night at Disneyland ended. What were my employment opportunities? I worked as a busboy, a waiter, a valet driver, a warehouse worker, and eventually in construction.
It was in the midst of these dead-end jobs that I decided to go back to school, and actually try this time. I surprised myself by doing well enough in one of my first classes - an English course - to be asked by the professor if I would like to tutor other students at school. I did this for the rest of the time I attended community college, and it was then that the idea of becoming an educator entered my mind. I continued surprising myself by getting accepted to UCLA as a transfer student, along with a good amount of scholarship money in tow. While at UCLA, I was able to distinguish myself in the area of undergraduate research, winning the UCLA Library Research Paper competition and ultimately garnering the Carey McWilliams award for best senior honors thesis in history. I moved on to a Master’s program at USC, where I also earned my teaching credential. It was while studying at USC in 2010 that I first had the opportunity to student-teach at the old Heritage College-Ready Academy site on Main St. (where Middle #4 is now) under the guidance of Ms. Valerie Felix, our Business teacher.
All of these years later, I am still fully committed to helping every single student who I have the pleasure of working with here at Burton Tech reach their particular educational and sporting goals, and set themselves greater ones no matter the obstacles they may encounter. Though they may be difficult to discern when you're young, the rewards are truly life-changing.