Meet Algebra Teacher Mr. Patiño

Jose Patiño wants his students at Agua Fria High School to have the opportunity to  strive for success without having to struggle like he did. He said they can do this by getting involved with school activities or simply working hard in the classroom.

Mr. Patiño grew up surrounded by poverty in West Phoenix. Being surrounded by a lot of drugs and violence, he didn’t know anyone who was a college graduate. During his schooling, teachers played a big role in his life. “My teachers played an important role; they pushed me, held me accountable, and helped my find opportunities to succeed,” Mr. Patiño said. This is what inspired him to be an educator.

His goal this year is to change education equality. A way this goal will be reached is by “changing the graduation rates of people of color.” Patiño is certain that with a higher percentage of minority graduates, there will be more success at Agua Fria, and all schools in general.

He believes that the future of students should be based on how hard they work, and not by how they look or where they were raised. “For the majority of the students, if they are born in a poor neighborhood, then they’ll probably be in low social class status and if you’re born in a wealthy community, you’ll be wealthy. Which shouldn’t be the case,” Mr. Patiño said  with great passion.

For example, people who do not attend Agua Fria may stereotypically say that the school is poor or “ghetto” because we may not have the most eye-catching buildings, the most money, or the nicest looking community. Mr. Patiño understands this situation very well and would like to change the way people look at our school by giving students more opportunities to do big things with their lives and showing that the graduates who walk out of Agua Fria are very successful in life.

Mr. Patiño says that he really enjoys Agua Fria and thinks it has great pride. One thing he suggests is that “minorities should get more involved with school activities and honors programs.” With that, students will want to succeed and will hold higher standards for themselves.

Overall, Mr. Patiño emphasizes that there is a top priority students should have. “The most important thing to do is to be educated, because no one can take that away,” he said.