Mr. Rick Viramontes: Seeing Others Succeed Makes Me Feel Successful


Naomi Mondragon, Author

In 2019, Anaheim High School gained a new teacher, Mr. Rick Viramontes. Although he has been in the district for 20 years, Mr. Viramontes has only been teaching at Anaheim for three years. Therefore, you might know him as one of the Statistics and Probability teachers. 

“Challenging…stressful…and worried.” Those were the three words used by Mr. Viramontes to describe his childhood growing up with his family in Cerritos, California. Throughout his time living in Cerritos, he expressed that his life was rough and filled with worries because of his surroundings that consisted of bad influences and gang members living just across the street.

Despite what went on around his neighborhood, that didn’t stop him from looking forward to the future. Influenced by his father, he went to the University of California Irvine to follow in his footsteps and pursue a career in Engineering. In a short period, Mr. Viramontes realized that Engineering wasn’t for him, which led to a change in majors. His father didn’t take the major change lightly but came around almost two months later. Although a change in career choices caused a difference of opinions between the two, it didn’t change the fact that Mr. Viramontes now had an idea of what to do in the future.

Going to college at the University of California Irvine was challenging and filled with many obstacles for Mr. Viramontes because he had to focus on school and juggle sports and work. “I wanted to play soccer, and I actually made the team, but then I had to quit because I had to work because my dad couldn’t help me much my freshman and sophomore year in college. So, I had to work, and it was a struggle because I had to study and at the same time take around three or four math classes which weren’t easy. If I didn’t have to work, I probably would’ve continued soccer.”

While becoming a teacher, Mr. Viramontes revealed that he wasn’t sure about teaching until he realized how much he loved the subject. This realization helped him conclude that he was indeed good at teaching. Before teaching at a high school, Mr. Viramontes started at a college until he became unsure and switched to a high school where he remained.

Throughout the ups and downs of becoming a teacher, none of it has caused Mr. Viramontes to change his mind about doing what he loves. “Teaching has been rewarding, and I know I’ve helped a lot of students get to college and do well in math, so that makes me feel good. Seeing others succeed in the course that I am teaching is what I think is the definition of success. When others are happy and able to do well in the course, it makes me feel like I am successful,” he states.

Although Mr. Viramontes has been here at Anaheim High School for a short time, he has learned how people come to build their character and persona in class, separating both their math side of a person and themselves as a person.