Mr. Diaz

An ARB graduate who came back to AJMS
Mr. Diaz being super happy for the picture.
Mr. Diaz being super happy for the picture.
Jaylynn Aparicio

Animo Ralph Bunche is where the majority of us AJMS students will be attending high school, mainly because many of us are familiar with the environment and you get to keep lifelong friends and have great opportunities. After graduation, many don’t look back or would ever want to reminisce about their middle school and high school years. However, one very determined teacher decided to come back to educate the students of our community. 


Mr. Diaz, Animo Ralph Bunche alumni

Mr. Diaz was a student at Animo Ralph Bunche, Class of 2015. 

“My experience in high school was- at first I didn’t like it because I thought the school was too small, but then I met lifetime friends that I still talk to to this day. So, I liked it,” said Diaz.

When Mr. Diaz attended Animo Ralph Bunche, he learned to like the community. Although It was small, he made very good friends there.

“The difference was, I believe students were-now you guys are more focused academically. Back then it was more “Oh, we’re just here to mess around.” But now, it’s more like- there’s still some messing around, but when it’s time to get to work, to business, more students are willing to get to work and business.” 

Before the spring semester of 2023, students were less willing to do work. Since he was a new teacher, students would mess around and talk during lessons. Now, the students pay more attention, listen to instructions and are ready to work when it’s time.

“What made me interested in teaching was I used to work just with students one-on-one, and then I felt like I could do more than just help with students so I decided to pursue teaching because I want to help not just one student or the student I was in charge of, I wanna help everybody else. That’s what got me into teaching, so.”

Mr. Diaz was encouraged to teach out of the idea of helping others, which is very inspirational for those who look to do more than the work that is given to them and are wanting to achieve more.

“When I started teaching here- this is my second year- um- I actually wasn’t planning to, I didn’t apply here specifically. They kind of just chose the job for me and said “Oh, it was open.” So, I took it and I realized it was next door to my high school so I took it and I felt like since I already knew the community, it was a good fit for me and that’s why I decided to stay.”

Mr. Diaz applied to teach during the fall semester of 2022 after the previous math teacher moved schools. At the end of that challenging first year, he didn’t have plans on returning to teach eighth grade math. However, he made a last-minute decision to return.

“Follow up to that, what made me come back was I got along with a lot of the students at the end of the year that, um- started off rough for some. Overall, I liked the students, student culture. I like the teachers here. I came here as a new teacher. Teachers like Mr. Lo and Mr. Finer, veteran teachers, helped me out to kind of establish myself here and that’s why I decided to stay. The teachers, Ms. Perez and Mr. Flota helped me out, helped me stay focused and be ready for this year, so that’s why I decided to come back.” 

Teachers who have been at the school far longer than he has helped him prepare for this school year. When he told students that he made the last minute decision to come back and teach at AJMS, they were glad to hear that he chose to stay since they were already familiar with him at that point.

Overall, Mr. Diaz is a great example of how far you can go when you want to achieve something. No matter who tells you you can’t, all you need is a dream and confidence.

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