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Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Duenas

This is Duenas, Rodolfo, he is our teacher of the month. Duenas grew up in North East LA and attended Woodrow Wilson High School. He is now a Social Science teacher. He grew up with a big family, but unfortunately he lost siblings. He has had a relatable life with other students in this school, which makes him more trustworthy. We interviewed him about both his personal and career life, we hope you enjoy it.

Interview of Wilson’s own Mr. Duenas

Where did you grow up?

- Mr. Duenas grew up in North East L.A,. the Cypress Park/ Glassell Park area.

How many siblings do you have ?

- I currently have two brothers, but unfortunately I had a brother and sister who passed away.

How were your grades in high school?

- My overall GPA in high school 2.8

Where did you attend college?

- I earned a BA at San Diego State. For grad school I attended UCLA and earned two Master’s Degrees.

How long have you been a teacher?

- I have been a teacher for 17 years.

Is there any other job you’d prefer over being a teacher?

- I would love to produce films or plays.

Who’s your greatest inspiration?

- One historical figure I look up to is Cesar Chavez. The second historical figure I look up to is Dolores Huerta, who I, in fact, actually had the privilege of meeting. Besides historical figures, Mr. Duenas also looks up to his older brother Jose, who attended UC Irvine.

Where have you traveled?

- I have traveled to numerous places, including Jalisco and Nayarit, where my family is from and other parts of Mexico, including Michoacan and Chiapas. Outside Mexico, I have also traveled to New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, and Northern California.

What is your craziest memory in this high school?

- I have many memories out of the ordinary but the two main would have to be lockdowns and the strike, which I found to be a very unifying experience.

Which graduating class has been your favorite?

- I actually do not have a favorite class. Each is class is completely different and unique.

Which are your worst periods to teach?

- Every class period has their own individual challenges, but no class is necessarily the worst to teach, but 9th and 12th grade are definitely the hardest grade levels to teach.

Have you picked up on any words or phrases from your students?

- I have picked up on his students saying “serio’ and “what chu mean”

What is your favorite meme?

- UCLA vs USC meme

What is your favorite banger?

- Probably 21 savage

How many times have you separated a student fight?

- At least four or five, Two fights actually happened within one week.

How do you feel about the individuals who didn’t strike?

- Everybody makes their own choice. I believe we all have to sacrifice and I know some people are in difficult situations but it hurts me to think we can’t sacrifice 100% for students. Overall I’m hurt because I, personally, am willing to risk it all and some individuals aren’t. I have bills to pay, as well. Those individuals who didn’t participate are missing out on the unity the strike brought and are creating the conflict for themselves.

What did you think about the agreement?

- I wasn’t 100% satisfied, but I'm definitely not as angry as other people. Overall, I believe it showed that we need to work harder in order to achieve what we want. I am disappointed, though, with the fact that some people “folded “after the agreement was made and they gave up as soon as they didn’t get what they anticipated on getting.

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