The one and only Mr. Escamilla


Pictured Mr. Erick Escamilla, social science teacher at South El Monte High School Photographer: Uriel Martinez

Uriel Martinez, Sports Editor

This month the Eagle’s Nest had the chance to interview Mr. Erick Escamilla, the Avid coordinator and history teacher here at South, who has been teaching here since its founding in 1992-1993. Mr. Escamilla has had the chance to make an impact on thousands of students.

Mr. Escamilla shared about how he was motivated to become a teacher,  “When I was growing up in El Monte there were two choices you can make, you can join gangs and do drugs, or go to school, and I saw a lot of family and friends make the wrong choice, but when I was at  Columbia Junior High in El Monte I had two great teachers that took me on the right path.” He later added about his childhood teachers, “Mr. Seymour and Mr. Raymond, and they taught me that education was the path to success, and since then I knew I wanted to help students make that same choice. Cause growing up in El Monte and South El Monte isn’t easy.”

When asked Mr. Escamilla said this about his motivation to continue teaching, “ The success of my students after they leave high school motivates me every day, for example, to see last year’s seniors, at UCLA at CAL Berkeley, at Cal State Fullerton, and come back to say hello, that’s what it’s all about.”

Mr Escamilla shared a little bit about his hobbies and other interests,  “I love heavy metal music, live rock music, golf, running, and doing crazy things now, such as skydiving and the LA marathon, and number one is probably going to concerts like Metallica, Ozzy, ACDC, and Guns N’ Roses.”                                                                          

Mr Escamilla is in charge of various activities at school, every October during breast cancer awareness month Mr. Escamilla chooses to take the responsibility of setting up and preparing for a day we call Pink Out Day, a day bringing light to breast cancer awareness.  Most recently Mr. Escamilla was in charge of the Avid North-Cal college trip, a 3-day 2-night trip consisting of 100 students from sophomores to juniors venturing North to see colleges like Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and many more.

( NorthCal Trip to San Francisco State University)

When asked how he sets up ideas, and plans out trips like the North-Cal trip he said, “I have a lot of help, I don’t like taking all the credit, cause so many people help me with Pink day and Avid.”  Mr. Escamilla shared that Pink Day is very special to him personally, “Pink day means more than anything in my life because it brings back memories of my sister, and it also helps South El Monte seniors go to college, this year we sold almost 1000 t-shirts in October, and will be giving almost  $6k in scholarships on behalf of my sister,” but also added that, “many of the tutors helped set up especially Rachael, a big thank you goes to Dr. Morales, who helped pay for the Avid North Cal trip, but especially the students who made it worthwhile, we were the only school in our district that did the North Cal trip.”

     Mr. Escamilla has been a big part of the success for many students at  South El Monte High School, and the overall success of the school as a whole. When asked what advice he would give his students for life Mr. Escamilla stated, “I would tell my students to dream big, work hard, never give up, and don’t forget where they came from.”

If you’re ever wondering who sets up pink day, who helps set up the Avid field trips, and who’s the tall funny gentleman in room 234? Wonder no less it’s the one and only Mr. Escamilla.