Alumni Feature: Mr. Jose Aguilar

Mr. Aguilar is a math teacher here at SBHS, and he sometimes DJ’s at school events. Before Mr. Aguilar started teaching here, he used to attend SBHS himself.  He used to be temporarily on the soccer team, and he was also a part of the Mecha Club, however you won’t find him in the yearbook because he unfortunately isn’t there. 

How long have you been teaching here at SBHS? 

I’ve been teaching for 25 years, I think. 

What year did you start?

I started, I believe 1999, when I started teaching. 

Did you always want to be a math teacher?

No. I went to the university to get a degree in computer science, so basically programming. I couldn’t afford a computer back then so I had to do the work at school. I would be at the library until 11pm sometimes, so I got fed up and decided to drop it. I then took some criminal justice classes, cause I wanted to be an FBI agent but, too much reading, I don’t like reading. Then I went for art. I was pretty good at photography, but I didn’t see a future in photography so I decided not to do it. Eventually, I went with my counselor and he said, “well you’re missing two math classes,” so I got a degree in math. That’s how I became a math teacher.

What was it like when you used to come here?

The campus looks basically the same, the only thing that’s new is the addition that they had in the office. If you look at it facing from the cafeteria, the left side was added. But pretty much the campus looks the same. Another addition also would be the special education building, but the rest of it looks exactly the same. 

What was your favorite memory from attending SBHS?

I have a really nice memory from when I used to attend here from Mr.Meyer. He still teaches here, he used to be our physical science teacher. He used to make the lessons really fun because he always gave good examples, and he would basically use his own self to explain the lessons because I am a non-native English speaker. So he was teaching us the language on top of teaching us the science. 

When you started teaching here were there any teachers who had you as a student? 

Yes, so Mr. Meyer was one of them. My original math teacher from here was still here also when I started teaching before they opened Arroyo because they left. My ESL teacher, and my English teacher were here too, and my second year English teacher was here and I actually worked with her for a while. A lot of the science teachers were here as well, Mr. Oversby, Carver actually as well. Carver was actually a teacher here when I was a senior. 

When you started here, was it weird seeing teachers you used to have, when you attended? 

It was actually really nice to see them, especially Mr. Meyer, because he was always respectful and he genuinely likes kids to succeed and he was there all the time for us. 

How did it feel transitioning from student to teacher?

To me, it was almost like a continuation because what happened is that I came here as a student, right, and then right after I graduated, I started volunteering as a tutor here. So I was coming to class and talking to kids and helping them out. When they saw me doing that, they told me to apply to be a valuable tutor here on campus, so I did. Eventually, the principal, who was the principal when I was a student here, told me “let me know when you’re done with school,” because I had one semester and so I told her, “okay no problem.” When the semester was over, I told her, you know I’m done, so she handed me the keys and said, “Okay, here are the keys, this is the room you’re gonna be teaching in, and this is the book you’re gonna be teaching from.” I taught in the W building, and then B106, and then this one. I didn’t have to fill out a formal application; they just gave me the position. All I had to do was go to the district and sign some papers. 

What’s your favorite part about teaching here? 

Working with kids, though sometimes it’s kind of difficult to do that. The extracurricular activities are also fun, because of the DJing stuff, showing the kids how to do it, and helping them set up, that’s actually fun. When kids learn it, sometimes they actually get their own business, because I have kids who help out as DJ’s here and DJ outside also, so that’s pretty cool seeing them out there doing their thing. 

What has kept you teaching here for so long now? 

The kids, the students, believe it or not. They’ve actually offered to change my position, but I keep thinking I don’t want to do that because I just want to stay here. The students are part of it, the major part of it, and then also my colleagues, friends, people who I know, that are you know, I’ve worked with them for a long time. You know that’s why I keep coming back to work, to be able to work with them. 

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