The Rookie and the Veteran

Mr. Ferrario and Mr. Fajardo discuss their teaching experience

Mr. Ferrario has been teaching for 29 years.

Alexia Kountouris Photo

Mr. Ferrario has been teaching for 29 years.

We have chosen to interview two teachers at Harvest Middle School: one is a rookie and the other is a veteran major leaguer.

The following are interviews with Mr. Ferrario and with Mr. Fajardo.


MR. FERRARIO – The Veteran

How long have you been teaching?

This is my 29th year.

Did you always want to become a teacher?

It wasn’t until I was a senior in college. I taught a lot of Sunday school and I liked it so it made we want to go back to get my teacher credential.

Was science your favorite subject when you were young?

Actually, it was chemistry.

 What makes you laugh?

Goofy, funny, honest, and innocent things.

What awards/honors have you received?

California School Masters Teacher of the Year, was nominated for County

Teacher of the Year, district science, and master teacher for 6 times. I’ve been very blessed for all of these awards.

What’s the hardest thing about being a teacher from your experience?

Trying to motivate kids that need more attention and extra help is the hardest thing to do.

Where did you go to college? What degrees do you have?

I did two years at Napa Valley College and then I transferred to Cal Poly Pomona for my bachelor in Science. I went to Cal State Fullerton for my teaching credential.

Where have you traveled or want to travel?

I have traveled to Germany, Italy, and all across The United States. I would like to do some more traveling up in the Northern United States and into Canada. I also would like to go back to Italy and trace the steps of Galileo. I also want to go to Holland to visit my family because I haven’t been there to visit them in a while.

What is your next skill or knowledge you want to become as a better teacher?

I would like to teach more reading and writing and incorporate more language arts into the science curriculum.

What are your hobbies and why do you like these hobbies?

I love anything outdoors. I like model airplanes and model aviation. I also enjoy competing with Free Flight Model Airplanes.

What other grades have you taught?

I taught a couple years of high school and I finally lucked out and moved up to middle school. My first two years of teaching were in high school and I was waiting and waiting until I finally moved to 8th grade.

What has attracted you to stay at this grade level?

I like 8th grade because the kids are still innocent and they still get excited when I blow things up. But their old enough that I can joke around and talk about more mature stuff.

This is Mr. Fajardo's first official year of teaching
This is Mr. Fajardo’s first official year of teaching


MR. FAJARDO – The Rookie

How is it being a newcomer at Harvest?

Being a newcomer at Harvest is very exciting. This is my first full year teaching and I taught high school for 1 trimester. So this is my official first year teaching, and it is very challenging. I have three classes, and they’re all different. It’s a lot of work but I’m having fun.

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching officially for 6 months.

What is it like moving to a new place?

Its very difficult here, I miss my parents, little brothers and sisters. I miss my hometown but I’m adapting to this town. I like Napa a lot. I made a friend – shout out to Mr. Jimenez and the other staff. They have been so helpful making my experience.

 Did you always want to be a teaching?

No, I actually wanted to be an engineer and my plans changed because I also loved history. But I knew I wanted to be a teacher in my 3rd year of college.

What classes do you teach?

I teach 8th and 7th grade social studies and I teach 7th grade social studies in Spanish.

Where did you graduate?

I went to two universities. I got my bachelors degree from Cal State San Marcos; I got my bachelor in history. I then went to graduate school at Pepperdine University.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are playing soccer, running, music; I love making music, playing instruments. I have started a new hobby, mountain biking. I also started golfing with Mr. Gardner and Mr. Jimenez. It’s really fun.

 Where have you or want to travel?

I want to go to Europe, especially, Spain and France…China, the Middle East, I even want go to the Far East. I want to go India, Pakistan, Dubai, Chili, Colombia, I want to try to travel this summer. I’ve only traveled to Mexico.

What makes you laugh?

Stand up comedy, just being with friends, my 1st period 8th grade social studies class, they’re a fun group.

What is your favorite funny story about yourself?

When I was in 8th grade, I did something very embarrassing to my teacher. I mooned my teacher on picture day.

What is your next skill or knowledge set you want to add to make you a better teacher?

Trying to reach my objective everyday in class.

Who was your favorite teacher when you were a child?

Mr. Jones was my favorite teacher in 5th grade. He was from the army, so he was really strict, but he was a good teacher overall. He was fun, he helped me out with my English because during that time I just moved here from Mexico.

 What’s the hardest thing about being a teacher?

The management part is the hardest thing because you have to have a balance if you want to be a good teacher. At the same time you want students to behave and to learn and in order to do that you have to sometimes be mean or be very strict.

What is your favorite movie/poem/song/food/music/band?

My favorite quote is from my one of my favorite history professor he said, “Believe half of what you read and none of what they say”. My favorite movie is Dumb and Dumber.