Mrs. Muñoz-Combs teaches Honors Trig, Calculus, and MRWC. She was very generous to sit with me and answer questions about her experiences while attending and graduating from San Bernardino High School (class of 1996), and how it led to her teaching here.
How did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?
Muñoz: I wanted to be a biochemistry major and then I had my son. I didn’t want to leave him with my mom while I was away at school. So throughout my college years I worked as a bilingual tutor and that gave me the inclination to help others. It was an easy switch from biochemistry to becoming a math teacher.
Why work here at SBHS?
Muñoz: Oh that’s easy. I graduated from here, class of 1996, so I knew I wanted to give back to my community. I love working here and seeing the best from my students.
Do you get nostalgia while teaching here?
Muñoz: Oh yeah, a bit, Like the Cinco de Mayo dances, and before the construction there used to be a big tree by the south parking lot where my friends and I used to hang out while waiting to get picked up.
What kind of student were you?
Muñoz: Hands down I was a nerd – an A & B student with mostly A’s. I was a good student…but I liked to party too by hanging out with friends.
Were you in any clubs or sports?
Muñoz: I was in the Asian Club, Mecha, and Sobobans. For Sobobans, we would go serve food to the older ladies while they played bingo and stuff. Mecha hosted activities during lunch and there used to be something called “ICC Day” and it was for clubs to sell food and I liked it with the Asian Club.
What would you say your personal highlight of high school is?
Muñoz: You make lifelong friends. I’m still in contact with them. I’m even the madrina of one of my friend’s kids. I had very caring teachers which made the experience a nice one, which is why I’m back … to pay it forward!!.
Are there any teachers who taught you that still work here?
Muñoz: No, the last one retired. I wanna say …Hinkleman was starting or a student teacher when I graduated?.
Was it ever weird to teach with teachers?
Muñoz: It was like a different feeling and environment, since I had teachers who were my teachers when I was teaching.
How did you handle it?
Muñoz: In a way it was a very helpful learning from them and their support. I liked the background and how my peers were always willing to give a helping hand.
What college/ universities did you attend?
Muñoz: I graduated high school class of 96’ and then attended Valley, Cal State San Bernardino, and University of Redlands with a mathematics bachelor degree. I graduated in 2006.
What do you like about teaching at SBHS?
Muñoz: Everyday you learn something new from students.They just give a spark to life and push me to be a better teacher. It makes me think, “what can I do better ?“ and “how can I improve the lesson?”
Is there a purpose that keeps you teaching?
Muñoz: Of course, trying to help you guys graduate, inspire students, and I love to see great things from you guys. It’s very rewarding when a student comes to me and says that because of me they want to study math or be a teacher.