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English teacher Elbow to Elbow

Getting to Know Mr. Cortina

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Picture taken by Isabella Highfill

Picture taken by Isabella Highfill

Picture taken by Isabella Highfill

Eric Cuevas, Staff Writer

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A majority of students believe that they know a lot about their teachers from what they observe from them in class, but always remember to never judge a book by its cover. Ray Cortina, english I teacher here at Oak Hills High School has decided to educate students a little on his past since teaching was not always on his list of careers .

As a kid growing up, wrestling was always Cortina’s favorite sport, he began to take wrestling serious in 7th grade. The motivation Cortina had to wrestle was being able to experience winning. His motivation would not let him settle for anything less, instead it encouraged him to train even harder after receiving a loss. As a wrestler in high school, he went on to become a two time High Desert wrestling champion. Then after high school he proceeded to attend college to become a wrestler while also becoming a teacher. 

Although he was attending college to pursue his career as a wrestler as well as a teacher he originally wanted to be an architect. Then while attending college he made the final switch to become a teacher. Even though he was wrestling in college relatively committed to the sport, when he was asked if he wanted to go pro Cortina had said  

“No, by the end of college I was burnt out from wrestling”.

Instead Cortina had decided that instead of going pro into the Olympics he would have gone into the MMA route 

“No I would have been an MMA fighter, I was undefeated as an ametuer at 3-0”

Even though he did not go pro, he did go on to become a wrestling coach at a Jr High and then eventually for OHHS. He became a wrestling coach because he enjoys helping others, for instance he has helped students go on to become champions. He helped Robert Marchese become a state champion and also Tony Jimenez. As well as a current girl wrestling champion, Cory Burton. As a wrestling coach, he is a 5 time Jr High school Coach Of the Year champion. His words for people who are beginning to wrestle or are thinking about it are

“Be ready to train, work and push yourself harder than you’ve ever worked before”  

Not every teacher is your average teacher, and Mr. Cortina is one of the many examples of that. He not only has an interesting background, but he is a great teacher as well. Many of his past students still consider him as their favorite teacher and talk about how they miss his class. Mr Cortina is not only a good coach on the mat, but as well as in the classroom.

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