by Ana Terrazas
Former law firm runner and property land appraiser Raymundo Velarde, has come back from the flames of Alta Vista Early College High School.
Two years ago Mr.Velarde was working at Chaparral High School (CHS). This past year, he worked for Alta Vista Early College High School (AVECHS), and did not appreciate CHS’s students and staff until he left.
This year Chaparral High hired a new principal, Ms. lopez and when asked what he thinks about her, Velarde replied “It was not my first time working with her” then identified Ms. Lopez in a sincere tone as “tough but fair” and appreciates that.
Velarde was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but moved around quite a bit. When he was only seven years old, Velarde moved to Washington D.C., then El Paso, after his parents finished college.
Velarde’s mother holds master’s in education from Harvard and his father graduated from Boston College Law.
Before becoming a teacher, Velarde lived in Houston and worked as a manager at Salt Grass Steak House and a waiter at Applebee’s when he was a teenager. Seeing his father be so involved with the criminal justice system encouraged him to go to South Texas School of Law (now known as Texas A&M Law School). His official educational background is, he went to Boston College in ’98 and went to get his masters at NMSU. His mother encouraged him the most to become a teacher because she emphasized it so much, but he really just chose a path that he thought would be easy. “Boy was I wrong!” he says, “Although I believe it was worth it.”
During law school, Velarde and his wife got pregnant with their eldest son, German. They then decided to return to El Paso, where he worked for El Paso Community College (EPCC), Eastwood High School, and Cathedral High School. After feeling like he wanted to start new, Velarde went on to search for a new job to provide for his family. The only school at the time, with a position in Social Studies was Chaparral High School. Still loving the social sciences, Velarde later traded Social Studies for Government class. He chose to switch to government and to teach third year high schooler’s, because juniors are a “balance of maturity.”
Running is an outside of the classroom activity that he likes to do. In fact, Velarde has ran a full marathon. A hope he has is to continue his “cardio fun” before he gets “too old.”
Three words he used to describe his experience at this school so far are “Awesome, awesome, awesome.” There will always be love in Velarde for CHS.