Graduate returns to be a Spanish teacher

Jones becomes the first teacher to come back after graduating in 2011


Ellie Wendt

Jones teaching his first hour class

The tables have turned and little did he know he would end up right back where he received his high school education. Spanish teacher Jacob Jones is the first teacher to work at Perry after graduating here in 2011. After stepping back onto campus towards the beginning of 2016 getting experience in the classroom, this year marks his first official year teaching. Jones is a graduate from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in Spanish.

One of the biggest reasons for returning to his high school from was all the good times he had during high school himself.

“As a student it was a nice place to be,” Jones said, “good teachers, definitely.”

Teachers had a big influence on Jones in his youth. Spanish teachers Kevin Chapin and Norma Rios both directed Jones onto his education path. His freshman year of high school he entered into Chapin’s Spanish class intimidated, yet his passion for Spanish only grew.

“[Kevin Chapin] used to be a Spanish teacher here. I had him for two years,” Jones said. “You get here and you see some white guy teaching Spanish. And I said ‘I want to be like him!’ So I’m now being like him.”

Beyond teachers, Principal Dan Serrano has seen students from past graduating class returning successful.

“It’s nice to see him come back to the school,” Serrano said, “He knows the expectation and the climate of the school. I think he wanted to come back to the school because he knew what we were about.”

Teachers have a huge influence on a student’s life, especially during the high school years. Jones now gets to and do the same for his own students. Sophomore Ty Chavez is in Jones’ Spanish one class and has learned a lot in the short few months of being in his class.

“His teaching is very thorough, yet it’s also easy enough for people to understand,” Chavez said, “He’s a pretty cool person.”

In Jones’ years of absence from the school, many things have changed at Perry, but two stand out to him in particular.

“[The population] is huge! My graduating class had like five hundred kids when we started the year and I think we actually walked with 480,” Jones said. “The trees are a lot bigger. They’ve grown in 10 years.”

When he’s not busy teaching, Jones enjoys reading his childhood favorite series, Harry Potter. He has gotten to grow  up with it and see what it has turned into. As Dumbledore once said in J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, “You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be”. Being a teacher has been able to change his outlook on things and add a new angle to his life.

“Now I’m on this side: I’m on the teacher’s desk and teaching. It’s kind of nice to see the alternate perspective.”