Math teacher opts to teach in San Diego area next year

April 3, 2019 — by Angelina Chen and Amanda Zhu

AP Stats teacher Andrew Shoemaker is forced to move this summer due to his wife’s health conditions and high cost of living.

Math teacher Andrew Shoemaker, after two impactful years at the school teaching classes such as AP Statistics, will be leaving the Bay Area and relocating to San Diego next year in favor of better living conditions for himself and his wife.

“This is the best school I’ve worked at and I’m really sad to be leaving,” Shoemaker said. “But there is a certain level of excitement to do something new too.”

Shoemaker plans to settle down in north county San Diego where he hopes he will be able to provide his wife with the support that she needs.

Shoemaker’s wife suffers from Lyme disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other health complications.

Last year some of his students started a fundraiser to help finance a van so that the couple could travel together as well as help with medical expenses. In total, students helped raise more than $3,000.

“I was overwhelmed, even just someone giving me a dollar for my wife’s health is amazing,” he said. “It brought tears to my eyes, just the help from students and what they gave me.”

Because his wife is originally from San Diego, Shoemaker thinks that it will be good for her to have her friends around her and a good support system, unlike in Santa Cruz, where the couple now lives.

After they move to San Diego this June, Shoemaker’s wife will also have family who lives closer by, including a cousin in San Diego and a mother in Santa Barbara.

Another complicating factor is that the two rental houses Shoemaker and his wife have had in Santa Cruz, including their current one, have had mold issues that contributed to the worsening of her health. They hope to find mold-free accommodations in San Diego.

In moving to San Diego, Shoemaker and his wife made sure to choose a location where they would both still be able to pursue their passion of surfing, one of the only physical activities she can still do.

However, Shoemaker also knows that it may turn out that San Diego does not work for her health either. They are flexible in terms of where they might move, because, ultimately, her health is their top priority.

“There’s a quality of life that we want to keep, which is why we’re moving to San Diego, but we know that it may not work,” Shoemaker said. “So we may have to try somewhere with a dry climate, something brand new, even like Arizona or New Mexico.”

Shoemaker still plans to pursue a career in the education. He has an administrative degree, so he may even work in an administrator position or work for a district office to design curriculum for various schools to use. However, he is still going to begin his search by looking for a job as a high school math teacher.

Shoemaker has two masters degrees and has ambitions to become a college professor one day. In particular, he would like to be an education teacher and coach students who hope to become teachers on what “good teaching looks like.”

Shoemaker said that some of his undergrad professors are inspired him to become a teacher in the first place.

“I really connected with some of my education professors and they’re some of my influence as to why I became a teacher,”  Shoemaker said.

Students who had Shoemaker as a teacher said they will miss him.

“Even though Mr. Shoemaker was new last year, he kicked off my interest in math and reshaped how I see it as a subject,” sophomore Sumhitha Malladi said. “Before his class, I wasn’t really interested in math, but Mr. Shoemaker showed me how math can be educational and enjoyable at the same time.”


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