by Asami Nelson
The Social Science Department at Reedley High School is filled with outstanding teachers who motivate their students, and work hard to lead them onto the path of success. One teacher in particular, Anthony Fernandez, is well-known among students and staff for his humor and easygoing personality, and as a great friend. He began teaching at RHS in 2003, but has been working in the district for 20 years. At RHS, he has taught AP Government and Economics, AP and regular U.S. History, as well as regular Government and Economics. He has also taught AVID classes for several years.
Not only active in the History Department, Mr. Fernandez has coached multiple sports, including baseball, football, and basketball for nearly 20 years. He was also the first coach of the RHS Badminton Team when it was created. He proclaims badminton to be “The Sport of Queens.” He has also been involved in the AVID club and Catholics In Action (CIA) club on campus as an advisor.
In the 2014 RHS yearbook, Mr. Fernandez was recognized as a teacher who exhibits “genuineness,” his straightforward and sincere attitude that helps connect to students. He “graduated” his AVID class in 2012 and says, “It’s wonderful to see them now graduated from college and doing wonderful things in their respective professions.” His award is simple yet impactful: being part of the journey that helps students succeed in their lives. To remember his students’ achievements, Mr. Fernandez has a list in his classroom of all his students who passed the AP tests.
Luke Method, a junior in his AP U.S. History class, says, “I like him a lot, not just as a teacher but also someone you can go to for help. He is very inspiring and works hard for not just his students, but everyone.”
Another junior in the same class, Miles Yada, comments, “He’s a very good teacher. His excellency [sic] extends beyond the abilities of the common teacher. His patience as well as urgency reigns supreme. He is to the point and understands the high school student.”
There are many aspects of teaching that Fernandez enjoys, which his love of history only heightens . On his method of teaching his students, he says, “I feel if I can make it relate to students, then it becomes ‘real’ to them. I also enjoy motivating students to do well, not just in the classroom, but in life in general. I really push for students to leave RHS and specialize at the next level, whether it be college or a trade. I encourage them to be the best person they can be, and when I see ex-students in the community doing well, it’s one of my favorite parts. Teaching, and my favorite part of teaching, usually takes place way down the road, and it’s really neat to see kids from RHS be successful after they leave this fine institution.”
Not only does Fernandez motivate students while they are at RHS, he continues to do so after they graduate to ensure that they have the inspiration to continue down the path that he has lead them to. The school district and Reedley High are both incredibly fortunate to have such a dedicated teacher as Mr. Anthony Fernandez.