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The U.S. has around 12% LatinX teachers and PRHS has even fewer LatinX teachers on campus.

Christopher Lopez is a Physical Education (PE) teacher and the PRHS Mens Varsity basketball head coach. He has been teaching for five years. Lopez is a proud first generation college student. He attended Reedley College for a couple years then transferred to Fresno State, got his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology, and stayed for another year and a half to obtain his teaching credential. 

Lopez grew up in a small town in Tulare County Ca, named Dinuba. His mom is Mexican-American and his dad is Mexican. 

“My dad is from Jalisco. He grew up in a small town, really small town. He has ten siblings, seven brothers, three sisters. He moved over to the United States when he was 18 and he met my mom in Fresno, California. And from there, that’s kind of where our whole family moved. And we’ve been in the valley ever since,” Lopez said 

Lopez did not realize that he was creating a safe environment for his students by being one of the only Latino teachers on campus.

“When I first moved to Paso when I started teaching over here, I didn’t really think about it all that much. I know that there’s a pretty decently sized Hispanic population here. I never really thought about me being Latino or Mexican on what that means to the kids that I’m working with up until I started talking to some friends that I have over here. They kind of made me think about how when I’m teaching Hispanic kids they see someone like them. So I never thought about it that way up until a couple of years ago, and I’m very proud. I think it represents, you know, the Latino population. I always try to be a good example…”

Christopher Lopez

Many students have said that they feel more comfortable in their learning environment when they have a teacher that looks like them.

Freshman Jessica López Isidro has only had two LatinX teachers so far in her high school career with one of them being Mr. Lopez.

Isidro is a bilingual student so the intermixing of Spanish and English is very common to her as she speaks to her friends and family.

“Sometimes he speaks in Spanish so I’ll feel comfortable in the class environment. In sixth grade, my PE teacher got me in trouble for speaking in Spanish because she said she wasn’t able to understand the language. I also had Mr. Lopez in seventh grade and he’s never gotten me in trouble for speaking Spanish in his class. Hearing him speak Spanish has made me feel welcomed into his class,” Isidro said.

“I feel more comfortable in the class because I am able to connect to him [Mr. Lopez] culturally.”

Jessica López Isidro, 9

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