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Interview with Mr. Duran

Jessenia Herrera, Writer

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Hello Aviators! As you may know, some new teachers have arrived at HMSA. One of those teachers is none other than Mr. Duran, the new Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, and US government teacher! He’s not just a teacher, though. There’s been budding curiosity amongst students concerning Mr. Duran. For this reason, I’ve taken the liberty of interrogating the new teacher on campus. For those who are curious about him, who better to clear things up than Mr. Duran himself?  

Mr. Duran’s full name is Marco Santiago Duran. When reflecting on why he began teaching, he replied that he felt it was a part of his purpose, in terms of helping others. He began teaching life skills because he felt that it is an important class that talks about character of students, delves into self exploration, and has great value. He applies what he teaches in his daily life, such as meditating, positive thinking, and the self reflection of purpose, putting theory into actual practice.

Although Mr. Duran is new here at HMSA, I was curious to know if he had any other teaching positions, or work, at other locations. Interviewing Mr. Duran yielded surprising results; he has a long history of educational experience. Mr. Duran has worked at three other schools: Animo Leadership, Animo Ralph Bunche, and Animo Ellen Ochoa. Interestingly enough, Mr. Duran didn’t start teaching until he started working at Animo Ellen Ochoa. He was a Vice Principal at Animo Ellen Ochoa and at Animo Ralph Bunche. At Animo Leadership, he was first a Principal then a teacher. This is his seventeenth year teaching but his very first year teaching Life Skills.

Mr. Duran has noticed that certain teaching techniques evoke the best response from his students. This includes the use of media, sharing in groups, and mixing his teaching content with pictures. Mr. Duran gets inspired when he sees his students’ “light bulb moments”: the light that shines in their eyes when they reach an epiphany. He advises his students to always think about their purpose and how it helps others.

Mr. Duran has expressed that he is loving HMSA so far. He feels the environment here differs from his previous schools because of the CP classes unique to this school, and the technological support for students and staff.

After learning about Mr. Duran’s educational career and teaching techniques, I wanted to learn more about his interests and personal life. Mr. Duran is the youngest of four children. His childhood was happy and he was very active in sports. He felt as though he had a privileged education; he attended Loyola Marymount University. He admires his parents for the way they have given back to their community and his wife for her strong character.

Some of Mr. Duran’s after school hobbies consisted of coaching soccer and Little League baseball. His favorite childhood memory was when he went on a road trip (in a RV) with his family and traveled to various states such as Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico. Some other things Mr. Duran likes to do besides teaching is to read, watch football, do yard work, play video games, watch cartoons, listen to a lot of audiobooks, and vacuum. He celebrates more commonly celebrated holidays such as Halloween, The Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. He loves to eat steak and drink either slurpees or soft drinks like Coke, Cherry Coke, and Dr. Pepper; his favorite dish from the school cafeteria is the pepperoni pizza.  Mr. Duran spends his summer vacation being active with his children, trying to keep his days busy, visiting family, and playing sports. 

Mr. Duran’s most embarrassing memory comes from his high school years. He was hopping on and off the bleachers in the gym one by one, tripped, fell, and rolled off the remaining bleachers onto the ground. If he could relive any event, it would be the birth of his two kids and his wedding day.

With the more personal insight out of the way, I decided to ask Mr.Duran about equally pressing matters. If he could grow up in any decade, it would be the 1970’s. If we were in a zombie apocalypse, Mr. Duran would totally survive because he has read many books about zombies and how to survive an apocalypse. He feels he knows all there is to know about a zombie apocalypse. The Hogwarts house Mr. Duran would be in is Hufflepuff, because he feels they are the least serious house and they are sociable and kind.

For those of you who wanted to know more about Mr. Duran, well now you know. It’s safe to say that Mr. Duran is more than what meets the eye. Despite the fact he is fairly new to this school, Mr. Duran has already opened up and has let us know more about himself than most teachers will offer up.  He’s not just a teacher– he’s a human being, with hobbies and passions like the rest of us. Hopefully now we can see him as more than just a Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, and US government teacher.

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Interview with Mr. Duran