Mr. Rodriguez is happy as always to be coaching the girls track team at a meet in 2022. (Photo Credit: Elise Favret/Used with permission)
Mr. Rodriguez is happy as always to be coaching the girls track team at a meet in 2022.

Photo Credit: Elise Favret/Used with permission

Behind the scenes of science teacher Mr. Rodriguez

January 25, 2023

Raymond Rodriguez is a teacher in the science department here at Academy. We all know him as an amazing, dedicated, student-focused teacher. However, Mr. Rodriguez has many hobbies, talents, and interests aside from being a teacher. Knowing more about our teachers outside the classroom helps students to gain a sense of comfort and trust inside the classroom, so read on to learn more about AHN’s Coach Ray.

One of Mr. Rodriguez’s most passionate out-of-school activities is running, which he has been doing since his sophomore year in high school. Rodriguez also coaches the after-school girl’s track and field and cross-country teams for Academy. 

Liz Williamson (10) placed first in the state champion for track and field in 2022 under the coaching of coach Rodriguez. Liz’s win set a new Academy record in the 1600m race. (Academy of the Holy Names/ Achona Online)

One of Rodriguez’s students and previous track runner Sophie Odmark (12) was asked about Rodriguez’s impact as a track coach, she said, “Mr. Rodriguez always encourages us to do our best in track and is our biggest cheerleader.” 

Odmark says that “Mr. Rodriguez is always in a good mood at practice and meets and I think this positive attitude really helps to inspire us all to do our best in every competition.”

Currently, the girl’s track team is beginning to prepare for the upcoming season, and Mr. Rodriguez dedicates every Tuesday and Thursday to conditioning the athletes and preparing them for the season. 

Some previous athletes were asked to say some words about Mr. Rodriguez’s impact as a track coach. Here is what they said!

In an interview, Rodriguez shared that one of his favorite places to run in his free time is the Withlacoochee State Forest, especially because of the large caves that can be found there.

Peace cave, one of the many caves seen in the Withlacoochee State Forest in Brooksville. ( Achona Online)

Some of Mr. Rodriguez’s other interests include marine science and he enjoys fishing whenever he gets the chance.

As a kid, Rodriguez loved to watch Jacques Cousteau shows , which really got him hooked into the world of marine science.

Rodriguez explained that “growing up I used to spend most of my summers at my grandparents’ beach house in Indian Rocks Beach where I spent a lot of time fishing off a dock” which is another factor that sparked his joy for marine life.

When asked his thoughts on what draws him to these topics, Rodriguez said “It’s almost like an “alien” world on Earth where organisms have to be suited to almost completely different factors than what we are used to on land. Also, my curiosity is piqued by the huge areas of the ocean that remain unseen by humans.”

Like he stated above, it is the unknown mysteries of wildlife and the environment that makes it so interesting for him.

A lot of the time, students forget that teachers have lives outside of school as well. knowing who your teacher is helps students to gain a sense of comfort and trust in the classroom, which is one reason as to why it is important to consider teachers as more than just your teacher.

Knowing the background of Mr. Rodriguez and the many things he is enthusiastic about has helped many of his students to succeed in his classes, especially those who don’t just know him as Mr. Rodriguez, but also as Coach Ray.

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  • Sophie OdmarkJan 25, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    WOO!! Go Mr Rodriguez!!!! Best Coach ever!