Physical education (P.E.) teacher Michelle Buchicchio is retiring after 33 years of working at San Gabriel High School (SGHS), from 1984-2017. During Buchicchio’s tenure at SGHS, in addition to teaching P.E., she was the coach of the cross country and track team for 13 years, chair of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges committee for nine years, and a work-experience teacher for 14 years.
Now that the SGHS school year starts earlier in August, it is difficult for Buchicchio to commute to school everyday due to the the long distance drive from Long Beach in the heat of early August.
“P.E. in the heat is a killer,” Buchicchio said. “I’m not going to miss it.”
When Buchicchio coached the cross country team, one of her students, Angel Martinez, won 4th in state cross country, double state champion in the 2-mile division, and the state cross country championship.
“[A highlight of SGHS] is coaching because I had great cross country and track athletes,” Buchicchio said. “They were wonderful to work with.”
Now that Buchicchio’s daughter and her husband are planning to start a family, she wants to take time off to take care of her grandchild.
“I’ll be changing diapers and warming up bottles of milk,” Buchicchio said.
Buchicchio also offered advice to all the students of San Gabriel.
“Really take advantage of all the opportunities that San Gabriel offers, whether it’s sports or any after school curriculum, band, clubs, drama, being in plays,” Buchicchio said. “Whatever your interest is, there is a way to be involved and it will make high school a lot more fun.”
Buchicchio will miss the people and the students at SGHS, but she said that it is time for her to retire.