Rector recalls high school life at SHS

December 14, 2009 — by Brandon Yang

Less than 10 years ago, English teacher Erick Rector had a much different role here than he does today. He was one of the students participating in teachers’ lessons and doing homework. As both a student and a teacher, Rector was recognized as an amusing, funny person, but he was not the popular person he is today among students. In fact, he was the opposite.

“I would definitely be in the losers’ group,” said Rector. “I was kind of active in sports, because of cross-country, I tried to take an academic course load, but I was never super popular, though I always had my close friends.”

Rector and his friends participated in school activities and worked on homework together, much like many students here today.

“We were really, really loyal, close friends,” said Rector. “We did a lot of schoolwork together, ran cross-country and track together.”

Rector was also a member of the speech and debate team, which inspired him to become its current head coach. However, of all the things he participated in, cross-country was what he enjoyed most.

“Cross-country was a way for me to be active, gave me a lot of school spirit and let me be part of the team and represent the school,” said Rector. “The coach at the time, Marshall Clark, was also a phenomenal coach.”

In academics, Rector liked a lot of the classes he took, including calculus, poetry, and AP US history. Science, however, was his favorite subject.

“I really liked taking biology and AP bio. I really like science,” said Rector, “but I also always enjoyed English classes, language classes and a lot of other classes.”

Despite his initial interest in biology, Rector decided to major in computer science at UC Irvine because he originally wanted a high-paying job, but his English classes in college persuaded him to change.

“My dad had given me a good piece of advice, to take a fun class every quarter that would help complete graduation requirements,” said Rector. “I really liked the English classes, and when I was working a financial company while being a sub teacher, I hated the job at the company and loved being a teacher.”

Rector also attributes his wide range of academic interests to both the material taught and the teachers teaching it. Teachers like history teacher Kim Anzalone, science teacher Bob Kucer and English teacher Kerry Mohnike made learning exciting, said Rector.

Several teachers who still teach at SHS, including Anzalone, still remember what Rector was like when he sat in their class.

“Mr. Rector was the class clown in APUSH. He loved all of our role simulations and jumped right in with every discussion or debate,” said Anzalone. “He was definitely not shy and was a very goofy guy. I guess he hasn’t changed very much, has he?”

Rector said he thoroughly enjoyed his high school life, since he could participate in several different activities and learn a variety of subjects. There is one thing he wishes he could have done differently, though.

“If I could become a high school student again, I would try to participate in more extracurricular activities,” said Rector. “There’s so much stuff you can do on campus. I would like to try a little bit more, like be in a play or [get involved in] music, or maybe even do a math competition.”

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