Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Ramon Rodriguez

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, we wanted to take a moment to shine a spotlight on some of our JTD employees–sharing a little about them and what this month means to them!
Ramon Rodriguez, our Grades 5/6 Math teacher graciously answered five questions about his career, life, and heritage. Here's a little more about Ramon in his own words: 

What is your Hispanic background? 
I was born in Mexico and moved to Southern California right before my fifth birthday. 

How has your background shaped you or had an influence on you personally or professionally? 
When we moved to the United States, our neighbors spoke Spanish but were mostly Cuban-American and Puerto Rican. Even at age 4, it was clear that all people who spoke Spanish were not all the same. Knowing my neighbors taught me that people can share similarities but be different. It was clear we shared a common language but had some different traditions, different accents, and varied cuisines. I learned about their homelands through their storytelling. Most importantly, I learned how interesting differences between people could be. 

What do you most enjoy about your job?
One of the most influential teachers I ever had was a math teacher (predictable?) named Mr. Mizoguchi. He always primed us for what he called the "a-ha experience" (not the 80s band). Watching students push through tasks and make breakthroughs is so rewarding. I love being there for the moment students have their own "a-ha experience." 

How do you enjoy spending your free time?
I love spending time with my family, hosting and attending cookouts, and walking our family dog, Orion. On weekends, I wake up early to watch soccer (aka football) and recently returned to the sidelines to watch two of my daughters make a comeback to soccer themselves. Although I do not play any instruments myself, I do enjoy collecting and listening to music across many genres and generations. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
Before committing to a teaching career, I briefly dreamed of opening my own record store. I have a decent-sized vinyl collection but realized I would not be very successful in the record store business, as I found it very easy to buy records but painful to sell. Not the makings of a great business plan. 

Thank you Mr. Rodriguez for sharing a little about yourself! Look for more Hispanic Heritage Month Employee Spotlights in the weeks ahead! 

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The John Thomas Dye School

11414 Chalon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone: (310) 476-2811
The John Thomas Dye School admits students of any race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs.

Located In Los Angeles, CA, John Thomas Dye is an independent school for grades K-6. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.