This contribution is from our friends at San Marino High School’s Titan Shield.
By Trevor Davis ‘17
For a man who referred to teaching as a “midlife change in career,” Spanish Teacher Señor Joseph Claro has accumulated more than a few years at our school. Deciding that his prior career owning and managing his family’s “Claro’s Italian Markets” was not as fulfilling as he once hoped it could be, he went back to school and earned a degree to teach.
“I found I wasn’t very happy with the way I was giving back to the community, and things weren’t going well. I thought, ‘Well, what could I do to make a difference,” Claro said.
Since then, Claro has spent 14 years teaching the Spanish language at San Marino. He has used the bulk of that time laying the groundwork for incoming freshmen and sophomores by teaching Spanish 1-2 and 3-4.
“I enjoy when I see people learning and discovering something new. I like to see students come alive when I learn. When I hear about people using their Spanish in foreign countries, or even at restaurants here at home. It brings a smile to my face.” Claro said.
Despite his love of teaching, Claro was offered an incentive from the school district to retire in order to make way for new educators, and he jumped at the opportunity. A year away from when he had already planned to retire, Claro is excited to spend more time gardening at his Rosemead home, making pottery, and serving as a trustee of the Ramona Museum of California History in San Gabriel.
“I may be around a little next year as a sub to supplement my income, but we’ll see, I want to spend more time volunteering,” Claro said.
To celebrate his retirement, he plans to have a few small get-togethers with his friends and family. After 14 years of teaching, a little relaxation seems to be in order.
Claro says that the thing he is most excited for in his retirement is being able to sleep in as long as he wants. Years of getting up at 6 a.m. to be available for his students before school have made the change to a later schedule a welcomed one for the veteran teacher.
“I’ve always been treated very well by the faculty and students have always been wonderful to me,” he said before turning to get back to work sponsoring a Leadership, Experience, and Opportunities (LEO) club meeting in his room.
Over the next few weeks, Titan Shield will be featuring teachers and staff who will be retiring after having spent many years at San Marino High School.