Crossed Sabres

Filed under News, Top Stories

Spanish substitute saves the day

Mr+Simon+Contreras+dancing
Back to Article
Back to Article

Spanish substitute saves the day

Mr Simon Contreras dancing

Mr Simon Contreras dancing

Hannah Rosman

Mr Simon Contreras dancing

Hannah Rosman

Hannah Rosman

Mr Simon Contreras dancing

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Ms. Rosemary Hernandez, one of the school’s Spanish teachers, has been on family leave since the beginning of the year. In her absence, Mr. Simon Contreras, a former Arlington Public School (APS) teacher who retired in 2013, has come out of retirement to teach her classes. Several students this year have expressed their appreciation for his leadership, kindness, and patience in the absence of their usual teacher. “I transferred into this class after the school year started,” freshman Erin McKenzie said. “When I did, I had no idea what it was going to be like, but it has ended up being really nice because Senor Contreras made me feel so welcome.”

We asked Mr. Contreras a few questions about himself and his work.

Q: What made you decide to be a teacher?

A: First of all, my mother is a teacher, but also sharing what I know is just something I love to do. I really think teaching is a passion. When you teach someone I think that is an everlasting legacy. The most beautiful gift for a language teacher is seeing his students learn the language.

Q: What schools have you taught at?

A: My first job was many years ago at a catholic school, where I taught for two and a half years, called Saint Patrick’s High School in the district. Then, I got a job from APS at Wakefield. I came to W-L in 1975 and I was here for 17 years. I left the classroom for five years to do a program called Spanish for Educators where I was a teacher on television. I taught Spanish to people all over the United States because we got a grant through the United States Department of Education. We broadcasted out of the career center, and you can still see reruns of it. When the grant ended, I came back to the classroom, but at Wakefield. I was there for 11 more years and that is where I retired from. Now, they called me here to be a substitute and I gladly came back to W-L. This is the school that happens to be my neighborhood school. My daughter graduated from here, so I have very close ties.

Q: What things do you do when you are not here, at school?

A: In my free time I do Spanish and Flamenco dancing. I also am very involved in the community. I volunteer with my wife at senior centers and schools. Overall, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my granddaughters.

Q: What made you want to become a substitute again?

A: I missed teaching and I missed the children. I love teaching. When you teach, I think you give part of your potential, intelligence and you share your knowledge. That is something really wonderful.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    News

    Free Flu Shot Clinics in APS

  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    News

    To Lee or not to Lee

  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    News

    A prodigious pollution problem

  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    News

    Seniors prepare to cast their first votes

  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    News

    Kavanaugh’s controversy

  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    Featured General

    New book club meets to watch and discuss “The Hate U Give”

  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    News

    Bird takes flight

  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    News

    The school tax

  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    News

    Turn it off and on again

  • Spanish substitute saves the day

    News

    IB Ready?

Navigate Right
The student newspaper of Washington-Lee High School
Spanish substitute saves the day