Life of A Brave: 21 Questions With First-Year Teacher And Bosco Alum Mr. Ruben Solorza

by Eric Torres, Editor-in-Chief

St. John Bosco welcomes back alumnus Mr. Ruben Solorza, a 2012 CIF Champion in cross country and member of the class of 2013.

Q. Where are you from, and what schools did you go to for elementary/middle school?

A. I am from Whittier, California. I attended St. Bruno’s Elementary, in Whittier, from Kindergarten all the way to 8th grade. 

Q. Did you play any sports or do any extracurriculars in high school?

A. I tried out wrestling for one season (yikes), and then ran cross country and track for three years after that. I occasionally helped out with The Brave newspaper as well.

Q. What are some things you wish you could have done differently in high school, and why?

A. I wish I would have developed better study habits early on. This would have helped me perform better as well, but I guess that’s all part of growing up. 

Q. What was your favorite memory of high school?

A. My favorite high school memory was winning the 2012 State Championship for Cross Country with my team. It was an amazing experience.

Q. Are you currently involved in any clubs or sports here at St. John Bosco, and if so, which ones and why?

A. I am the assistant coach for Cross Country and track. I’m also looking forward to helping out in the garden (shoutout to Mr. Corkhill).

Q. Where did you go to college, when did you graduate, and what was your major?

A. I went to Whittier College and was a double major in Environmental Science and Psychology. I graduated in 2017.

Q. What was your favorite memory of college?

A. My favorite college memory was getting to compete at the national level for NCAA in cross country. I enjoyed traveling with the team to different cities. Also, studying abroad in Denmark with great people was a lot of fun.

Q. Were you involved in any organizations in college, and if so, what?

A. Aside from cross country and track I was a part of the sustainability club and the culture center. In the cultural center, we put on a lot of events for different cultures. The food was great too.

Q. What brought you back to St. John Bosco and what excites you the most about teaching here?

A. This place is a second home to me, and everyone here is like my family. Of course, there are rough days, but I always leave this place each day feeling good about myself and the day. I love that I get to teach what I am passionate about and feel very thankful for this opportunity. It is the perfect place for me to learn and improve in my teaching career.

Q. What subject do you teach, where have you taught before St. John Bosco, and how long have you been teaching?

A. I teach Environmental Science as well as the AP course. Before Bosco, I taught two years at the elementary level in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I have gone from helping kindergarten kids open milk cartons to well… still helping kids open milk cartons here at Bosco.

Q. Why teach environmental science, and how did you discover that this is what you wanted to do?

A. I love that it can be very hands on and engaging with fun labs and visuals. I also find it very relevant to our everyday lives. Growing up, my family loved the outdoors and we were always exploring the country. I have to thank my family for planting the seeds of interest there.

Q. What is your favorite part of being both a coach and a teacher, and why?

A. I love that I can really get to know the student body as a whole now. I feel I am a full member of this community again, and it’s exciting. I am still adjusting to being called “Mr. Solorza.” That will take some time.

Q. Do you enjoy traveling, and what is your favorite place that you have traveled to?

A. Absolutely! I am always always planning something. It is hard to say, but when I went to Hawaii for school in college, it was an amazing experience. We got to visit many great landmarks and stayed in a five-star hotel one night, which I will never forget. It also started my coffee addiction when we visited a coffee plantation.

Q. Where is one place you’ve never been to but want to go to, and why?

A. I have to pick two: Germany for the Berlin Marathon and for the history of the country, and Switzerland for the Alps! I have always wanted to go down one of those sleds on the mountains; it looks fun.

Q. What are some of your hobbies, and why do you enjoy doing them?

A. I love fishing and camping. I have been going with my family since I was very little. I also enjoy playing pickup sports games. I am always down for competition and often meetup with my alumni group for sports days.

Q. Do you enjoy sports, and if so, what are your favorite sports and sports teams?

A. I watch them all, but my favorite sports teams are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Eagles, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Lakers, USA men’s soccer and Bayern Munich. I also enjoy playing fantasy football.

Q. What types of music do you like, and who are some of your favorite music artists or bands?

A. I listen to a lot of different types thanks to my parents. Favorites would be The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queen, Blink-182 and Sam Cooke. Basically, if you tell me to listen to something I am going to check it out and most likely enjoy it.

Q. What is your favorite food or restaurant?

A. I like anything barbecue. Also, my favorite post race meal was a classic burger, fries, and coke.

Q. What is your favorite holiday and why?

A. My favorite holiday is Christmas. I love when everything is decorated and Christmas music. I definitely will be decorating my classroom when the holidays come around.

Q. Do you have any pets, and if not, what pet would you like to have?

A. I have a dog and a turtle. The turtle just goes about his business every day and eats. However, I have always wanted a chameleon.

Q. What are your favorite movies and TV shows?

A. My favorite shows are The Office, Ted Lasso and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. My favorite movies are The Dark Knight, The Other Guys and Rudy.

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