Q: What has it been like to be back at San Gabriel High School?
A: It’s great. It’s so much fun to be back. It almost feels like I haven’t left in some [ways]. So, it’s just been a thrill and it’s an honor. I’m really happy to be here and see all the kids and former students.
Q: How did you feel being reunited with a lot of your students?
A: It’s terrific. I miss them all a lot. I think about them so often. I’m glad that they’re having such a good time and are happy, and that their music is still such a big part of their lives.
Q: What has been your favorite moment so far of homecoming?
A: Getting here? Well, I guess [it is] mainly just seeing so many people that I know [and] miss again. We’re sort of coming back and getting [in touch with them again]. It sucks being away, so this is the greatest gift, [which is] coming back and being part of it all.
Q: What is your relationship with San Gabriel High School? How would you describe it with the students and the school?
A: Well, it’s like leaving your family and I’m coming back to see my family again. That’s why I like [it] every time I come back. You come back and you just remember all the great things that happened at school. Homecoming is especially one of the ways to remember or reconnect [with] the people who have been part of your life. Thirty years [of teaching] is a long time. It’s just so fun to see people that remember me.
Q: Were you a student of this school?
A: No, I wasn’t. I went to Alhambra [for] a little bit, but being here at San Gabriel, I feel like a freshman.
Q: In all the years that you have been teaching in the school, how has homecoming changed?
A: When I first started teaching, we didn’t have a field with lights on it. Homecoming was held at [a college] or Mark Keppel High School. So, when we finally got lights on the field, then homecoming really felt like you were here because we weren’t on someone else’s turf.
Q: What was your first reaction when you discovered that you were named the grand marshal?
A: I was thrilled. I was so surprised. I was expecting to come to the game, but I never thought they would want me to be the grand marshal.
Q: Are you planning to go to the dance?
A: I would stop by the dance, because they are expecting my company. I think I’ve only visited one homecoming dance. I have to take a look at it again.
Q: What are your thoughts on the impact of homecoming?
A: I wish we could have homecoming at least twice a year. I’m just so happy to visit and come back. San Gabriel [is] an incredible place to be. Homecoming isn’t [just] for the kids who are here, but for those who have been here. We come back and for one night, we’re kids again. You sit with your friends and for those who were students and teachers here, you remember all those great things that happened. You were here and that’s what makes homecoming so much fun. It’s to come back. We are coming home. It really feels like home and everything comes back and all of a sudden, it’s like you’re in high school again. I hope everybody [still] remembers the words to the Alma Mater.
Q: If you could describe everything you’ve experienced in one word, what word would it be?
A: Thrilling. It’s just been a thrill. I would gladly say: hey, this is just about as special as [it gets].