Coming out of the University of Arizona majoring in aquatic biology but ending up taking a history course, history teacher Michael Ramsay will retire after 30 years of teaching at San Gabriel. Ramsay has been involved with the school as a teacher and coach, enjoying what he does for his students and colleagues.
Back in Arizona, Ramsay did not favor his major as an aquatic biologist, and a history professor intrigued him with the course.
“Someone suggested teaching so I observed it, tried it, and fell in love with it. I never turned back and found my calling,” Ramsay said.
Since then, Ramsay decided to teach in the social studies department for San Gabriel High. Within those 30 years, Ramsay has been active outside of the social studies department as a coach for multiple sports such as volleyball, swim, and golf.
Ramsay participated in sports back in Arizona such as volleyball and swim, which encouraged him to coach for those sports in San Gabriel. At first, he coached for the junior varsity girls volleyball team alongside former Coach Larry Kanow back in 1988 for 13 years. Ramsay did not know much about coaching until Kanow taught him everything he knew. Along with volleyball, Ramsay also coached for the swim team with his assistant at the time, band teacher Tamara Cognetta. After coaching for both those sports, he carried on his coaching skills for golf with Coach Keith Jones.
Ramsay has had a great career for teaching and coaching. He said that he will remember all the good and bad that has happened throughout his tenure, such as the Jeff Cox shooting in 1988, football and swim winning CIF, and many more. He believes that he has been here long enough and that it is time to move on with his life.
“I went under reconstruction spinal surgery; I have a lot of metal in my back and I hurt all the time, but it’s not that bad,” Ramsay said. “I put in my time and want to enjoy my retirement. My wife and other people have been bugging me to retire for 30 years, so I want to enjoy my retirement and cruise around the country for a year.”
During his retirement, Ramsay plans to get an RV sometime in late June or early August to go out and explore the country with his wife.
“I want to tour, visit every place not knowing where to go until I’ll find a nice place to settle down,” Ramsay said.
Ramsay will definitely miss many aspects of San Gabriel, such as the social studies department and coaching, but what he will miss the most are the students.
“They’ve been fantastic; they can converse, laugh, and joke on the same level,” Ramsay said. “I had a great time with them and never had a problem with them. I had a lot of fun with them; I always looked forward to coming to class and teaching stuff I never regretted.”