Ocampo Motivates Students Through Interests

Ocampo continuously makes an effort to encourage students to work their hardest and have fun.

Ocampo continuously makes an effort to encourage students to work their hardest and have fun.

EV Thurgood, Features Editor

Ryan Max Ocampo is a Valley teacher, who teaches sophomore and junior English.

Ocampo also advises Varsity Quiz, Anime Club, Valley Viking Scholars, and Key Club and coaches the tennis and swim teams. His level of involvement throughout the school has endeared him to some students.

“[He’s a] super nice guy,” junior Kaden Copley said. “[He] cares about kids. [He] feeds kids. Overall, [he’s] just an amazing teacher… Just being in [Ocampo’s classroom], I can tell.”

A University of Nevada, Las Vegas, or UNLV, graduate, Ocampo originally majored in Business and later changed to majoring in Education with a minor in Civic Engagement. But no matter what his major was, Ocampo was always involved in a multitude of school-run activities, both as a student and now, as a teacher, and the most memorable ones were the swim team and Circle K International.

“I did have my swim coach, who taught me to look for growth in any aspect,” Ocampo said. “I was on the swim team, and he would always give me feedback. Even though I was the slowest member of the team, he was proud of me that I would always show up and that I was determined. I improved every week, and that’s what I try to instill in my athletes.”

Ocampo coaches tennis, which ended recently, and he will go on to coach the swim team later this year. In both the sports that he coaches and the clubs he advises, Ocampo strives for progress and persistence rather than perfection, something he learned from the swim team. But Circle K International helped him realize the path he wanted to take professionally.

“[Circle K International] for those of you familiar with Key Club, it’s the college version of that,” Ocampo said. “We did a workshop for high schoolers, Key Club high schoolers, and I led a workshop on getting involved in college. I liked the process of presenting and taking questions and answering these questions, and I thought that teaching may be something I would be interested in doing because I have that experience. So my involvement with Circle K in college helped me know I wanted to teach.”

But being in all of these clubs and teaching as a whole, has always been about helping students achieve their full potential.

“I like being involved,” Ocampo said. “I was heavily involved in high school and as a college student. I see the value of expanding one’s education outside of the classroom, and I really enjoy working with students who are motivated and choose to attend these clubs and sports. So I try to provide that opportunity to as many kids as possible by being an adviser or a coach to the activities [that I am involved in].”