Your donation will support the student journalists of El Rancho High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.
Mr. Perezchica: From a Hawk to a Don
September 13, 2022
With the closing of Ellen Ochoa Preparatory Academy earlier this year, many teachers were forced to make other schools their new home. One of these teachers was Juan Perezchica. After five years at Ellen Ochoa, beginning in 2017, he had to move to a new school and found himself staying within the ERUSD school district. Now at El Rancho, he continues to teach the same subjects he used to, forensics and chemistry.
His transition from Ellen Ochoa to El Rancho was surprisingly smooth. He said, “There are more students in each of my classes now, but I teach fewer subjects, which I think contributes to a slight easing of the workload I do. The science department is more organized at El Rancho, and everyone knows their tasks. At Ellen Ochoa, there were only two science teachers, and the department work was spread among the two, which often made it feel overwhelming.” Having more teachers by his side calms his nerves and allows for more personal time rather than being swamped by work.
The difference in size between Ellen Ochoa and El Rancho also affected the way Perezchica teaches. With the increased amount of facilities and equipment available at El Rancho, he is able to teach and conduct lab experiments better. He also likes the fact that El Rancho has more sports and clubs.
“At El Rancho High, there are more sports activities and more clubs, to keep students engaged and excited about school life. This is a huge plus,” said Perezchica. “Also, there appear to be more teacher advisors for each of the different clubs.” Currently, Perezchica is the co-advisor for the Robotics Club, along with Ms. Knarreborg and Ms. Dorado. With more advisors, clubs become easier to manage.
While he does miss the small, tight-knit feel of the smaller campus of Ellen Ochoa, he prefers the larger campus of El Rancho. However, he believes that the larger campus and larger classes come with some downsides. “Fewer students per class is traditionally more advantageous because you can target every child’s need more easily; it’s more of a challenge with the larger classroom sizes here at El Rancho.”
Another downside he found is that communication between teachers is a bit more difficult with the larger size of El Rancho, “At its peak, Ellen Ochoa only had 16 people on the teaching and administrative staff, so everyone knew each other very well and that made communication easy. El Rancho High is a much bigger school with dozens upon dozens of teachers, so communication between teachers requires a bit more energy.”
Even with some of these differences, Perezchica still likes El Rancho due to the overwhelming advantages it has. He wants to utilize these advantages to make sure that this year is a great year for his students. While the school may be different, his drive is to teach his to the best of his is the same.