6 teachers who go above and beyond for their school


Mrs. Deming looking at her calendar to make sure theatre has their dates set for upcoming performances Photo courtesy: Andreia Sales

Andreia Sales, Arts & Entertainment Reporter

As students, we tend to believe that teachers only focus on the one class that we have them for. “Why haven’t I gotten my test from last week?” “Why is it taking so long for me to get my essay back?” It’s because they have other classes to worry about! There are teachers all around our campus that do many things for the school such as being coaches, taking on elective classes, being an advisor for multiple clubs or a class advisor. Some of those teachers include Mrs. Deming, Mr. Engstrom, Mr. Polite, Mr. Poteet, Sr. Ramirez, and Mr. Robinson. These teachers are amazing for all that they do, and don’t get nearly enough credit.

Mrs. Deming is an English teacher, a theatre teacher, and the Quest News advisor. When she was first hired, Mrs. Deming only taught English.  Eventually, she took on the journalism program after the previous teacher heard Deming had a background in communications journalism.

She had a similar experience in theatre. As a high school student, Mrs. Deming was a thespian, but never thought that she would continue with acting. However, like journalism, there was a need for a new theatre teacher. And at the request of our principal, Dr. Cabrera, Mrs. Deming couldn’t say no. Having multiple classes a day isn’t easy. So, what’s Mrs. Deming’s motivation? “The students.” The students provide creativity every day that allow Mrs. Deming to continue doing what she does.

Mr. Engstrom is an Engineering and AP Computer Science teacher, and involved in LEAD, which stands for Lugo Engineering and Design. While all these classes are similar, it still is a lot to prepare for! Surprisingly, when Mr. Engstrom was first hired, he was hired to be a math teacher. But as time went on, Dr. Cabrera asked him to start teaching a couple Engineering classes.

Mr. Engstrom demonstrating to his students how to handle a tool
Photo credit: Andreia Sales

Before teaching Engineering, Mr. Engstrom had a general interest in engineering, but didn’t know what the class would include. Back when he was a high school student, there weren’t really classes like engineering that were out of the core classes such as math, English, and a select few lectives. Mr. Engstrom believes that if a class like engineering had existed, then it would have changed his career choice.

Mr. Polite is absolutely unbelievable. He is a Human Anatomy, Bio-living, Athletic P. E., and AP Bio teacher, while being involved in AVID and coaching for Cross-Country. When Mr. Polite was first hired, he didn’t teach any of those classes. The Cross-Country coach before him had retired and so, with a background in being a runner, he was asked to be the new coach.

Mr. Polite posing with his class skeleton that he uses for his Human Anatomy class
Photo credit: Andreia Sales

The other classes were just handed to him, as they fit his background. With AVID, just like the coach, there was a position that needed to be filled, and the AVID students wanted him. So why couldn’t he say no? “I’m a sucker.” But to help persuade Mr. Polite, the Cross-Country athletes went up to him personally and asked him. “It’s really hard to say no to the kids.”

Mr. Poteet, just like Mr. Polite, is incredible. He teaches U. S. History, English 10, Athletic P.E., and Study Skills, and is the coach for Softball and is the Class of ’19 Advisor. Mr. Poteet was hired only to be a Social Science teacher, but was soone asked to be a class advisor. He decided that if he was going to be an advisor, that he would do it when his daughter joined Don Lugo. As the years went by, the rest of the classes were just handed to him as they needed a teacher.

Mr. Poteet reviewing with his students
Photo credit: Andreia Sales

Mr. Poteet loves to have discussions with his students in his classes about what is going on in the news. “It’s kind of fun.” Having different classes can be rewarding. For example, Mr. Poteet explains how when there is only one class to teach, it’s just the same routine five times a day. But with multiple ones, there can be a new experience with each class. With one class, it can be a great period, but then trying to repeat with another class doesn’t work out as well.

Sr. Ramirez is a Spanish teacher. But he teaches Spanish 3, AP Spanish 4, ELD Writing, and ELD Grammar. He is also the advisor for Folklorico and Spanish club. Last year was Sr. Ramirez’s first year at Don Lugo and he was given all of these classes.

Sr. Ramirez taking his students step by step through the day’s lesson
Photo credit: Andreia Sales

Folklorico was an idea between the girls in the club who discussed it with Sr. Ramirez; however, he couldn’t commit due to trainings, seminars and his classes. “It’s overwhelming, but exciting.” When asked about what motivates him, Sr. Ramirez’s eyes lit up with passion as he began to explain that he wants his students to know more about the Spanish culture and for those who have this background to be proud of their culture and heritage.

I love the fact that, in this school, we have that sense of community -Sr. Ramirez

And last but certainly not least, Mr. Robinson. He teaches Engineering Design, Integrated Math 2, Digital Electronics, AP Calculus, and gives guitar lessons to students during lunch. As a first hire, Mr. Robinson was only hired to teach math. Over time, the other classes started to come along. About 5 or 6 years ago, he was asked to be a part of engineering classes.

Before coming to Don Lugo, Mr. Robinson was an  electrical engineer for 10 years, so becoming an engineering teacher was a piece of cake. Having multiple classes is definitely not easy, so there has to be some motivation to continue teaching them. “Everybody appreciates the things that they have and people get along.” By this, Mr. Robinson is talking about the students. He has always liked the students of Don Lugo.

Mr. Robinson working on a math problem with his students
Photo credit: Andreia Sales

Now, the guitar lessons are a very unique story. Mr. Robinson once had a student whose dad was a Mexican singer, the type of music that horses would dance to. The father was interested in Rock and Roll, and playing the guitar. So, Mr. Robinson offered to teach him! After that, he would start to mention it during his classes. Soon after, 1 or 2 students would show up to receive lessons and then as time went on, more and more students would show up.

All of these teachers are remarkable and if it weren’t for them, some of the electives that we have now most likely wouldn’t exist. If you see any of these teachers in the hallway, make sure to give them a big “thank you”!