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36 years is a long time to be a teacher, and that’s how long Mr. Montera has been in the industry. This is his 34th year teaching at Centennial, and up until this year he’s been teaching the same subject out of the same room. That’s 33 years teaching English out of room 510. And even after all that time, he still remains a jolly, good humoured person, if a little older.
Mr. Montera’s favored pastimes once included cycling, jigsaw puzzles, and a fair amount of real time strategy games such as Age of Empire and Zeus. He admitted that he’d like to get back to gaming and that, in a couple of years, he’ll have plenty of time for it. Currently though, his hobbies include watching too much TV and acting as his daughter’s taxi. Wherever she’s got to go, he’s got to take her there. He also greatly enjoys bulldog football and has only missed a single bell game in the last 49 years. He also enjoys traveling to warmer places like California, Florida, and Mexico but complains that he doesn’t have enough time to travel as much as he’d like to.
Having been here for so long, Mr. Montera’s seen Centennial undergo a lot of changes over the years. One of the biggest, he said, was that the school doesn’t have as much money as it did back in the day. There used to be plenty of funding for students and teachers alike, but now we don’t even have enough money to fix the student parking lot. Another big change is that “teaching’s become more scripted . . . everyone does the same thing instead of having academic freedom.” The curriculums have changed and district requirements ensure that teachers are all delivering the same material at about the same time. He himself though, mainly relies on experience to teach, and he certainly has no shortage of that.
In previous years, his focus within the school has been speech and debate 24/7 but when his daughter was born, he saw a major shift in his focus. Now, most of his time goes to taking care of his family and driving his daughter around. But once his daughter starts high school at Centennial, it’ll be speech and debate 24/7 for her.
He only plans to stick around for another 2 ½ years before retirement, essentially graduating again with the class of 2019. However he will continue to coach the speech and debate team until 2022. Speaking of which, Mr. Montera said, “We’re doing a lot better now than we’ve done in the last six [years].”
For the last 34 years, Mr. Montera has been a dependable bulldog with a rather surprising sense of humor, and a bit of sarcasm here and there, whom we’ve always been able to count on for a productive, and entertaining, class. Be sure to stop by to see him in his new room above the commons before he retires, but even then, this won’t be the last of the jolly old Mr. Montera.