Career Technology Education teacher Christopher Vasquez shares how he persevered through his high school years
By Tommie Gaitan
Most people only have to go through the agony of freshman year once, but sadly that wasn’t the case for Career Technology Education teacher Christopher Vasquez.
Vasquez attended Victoria High School in Victoria, Texas. In 1991, instead of hitting the books, he was having fun, and messing around with friends. This soon turned into a distraction, and Vasquez had to repeat the ninth grade.
“I was barely getting by,” Vasquez said. “Back in the day, there was no mercy.”
He never got any help in school because he never asked for help. His mom also did not know about his bad grades.
“The question would be ‘Do you have homework?’ ‘No.’ Of course I did, but my mom worked so much that it was difficult for her to go through my bag,” Vasquez said. “I always promised her I’d do better. Seeing her disappointed was another motivator to get back on track.”
After Vasquez graduated from his fifth year of high school, he was not only relieved, but he was also happy. Finally, he got to where he wanted to be. He wanted to be an example to students. He wanted to show them that what you do after high school is what’s most important.
“I am happy I got through it, but the way I look at it was the easiest thing that life will give you is the challenge of high school,” he said. “ I’m glad I finished it, and I’m proud that I finished it, but the big accomplishments come afterwards.”
Vasquez has always been into technology. It’s no surprise that his teaching gig revolves around technology.
“I have always been around technology since I was a little kid,” Vasquez said. “Whether it be video games, taking apart the TV in the house. Anything silly like that I was interested in.”
Vasquez went to the military after high school, but then he got out because of family reasons.
“I got out of the military Dec. 31, 2002 because I had a little sister who was born when I was 21,” Vasquez said. “I was just worried that if I ever had to take care of her that she wouldn’t know who I was if I wasn’t around. I missed home.”
The military also affected his life in many ways.
“It got me away from my home town where I could of made a lot of bad decisions,” Vasquez said. “It showed me new things. It showed me new places. It gave me friends … lifelong friends and lifelong memories.”
After his stint in the military, he went to college at San Antonio College (SACS) and Texas A&M San Antonio to study Human Relations, and even got his masters in Education Leadership at University of Texas San Antonio. To him, his was better late than never.
“I didn’t go to college until I was 30, and it was just a job to me,” Vazquez said. “I did it, and it wasn’t hard. I just did it. Before you knew it, I was done.”
Vasquez wanted to become a teacher because he wanted to show students that teachers aren’t only teachers. Teachers are there to help them no matter the situation.
“It’s very challenging,” Vasquez said. “You want to make sure the student understands what you’re saying and not misunderstand whatever lesson you’re trying to teach them whether it’s class lesson or a life lesson. The responsibilities of being a teacher to me is making sure students realize that we’re here to help however we can. We’re responsible for making sure that you understand the point of being here.”
As a teacher, he is beloved by many of his students. Teachers even think of him as a good examples for students.
“Mr. Vasquez is a good example of not giving up when you struggle,” Career Technology Education teacher Tamara Flack said. “He is really good about letting his students get to know him, getting them motivated to do their work, and making it fun.”
Vasquez loves his students and is impacting the future generation to make positive decisions.
“He is a very awesome teacher,” senior Terry Traylor said. “He teaches animation, and I want to do something that involves that later on in my life. It’s a really fun class, and he is really nice.”
Other students agree.
“He’s funny, cool, and gets loud at times, but he’s a great teacher,” sophomore Alex Martinez said.
The students are influenced by Vasquez on a daily basis. He always encourages them that the sky’s the limit and is a living testament against adversity. He looks to become even more successful in the future.
“I would love to be the assistant principal; I would love to be challenged by that,” Vasquez said. “I always thought it would be a pretty good challenge. You’re getting to understand the workings of the school. If you keep on trying, you can always do better.”