Andy Lopez is a new Chapman English teacher.
Lopez is originally from New York but moved down to South Carolina after coming here during the summer to visit family.
“I grew up in New York City, but my mother was from Gramling, South Carolina, so I was very familiar with the area,” said Lopez.
A lot of Lopez’s family members have also ended up being teachers or working with kids in some way. Lopez has always wanted to be a teacher. He loves being around kids and feels he has always had a connection with them.
“I enjoy working with kids in a way I have found fulfilling, and I guess it just became a calling for me,” said Lopez.
Lopez chose to pursue English in particular because he enjoys the different things he gets to explore and the conversations he can have with his students.
“I think in English you really get to express your own opinion, and you really get to have your own ideas and learn how to express them on and off the page,” said Lopez.
This is Lopez’s first official teaching job, but he has been a teacher’s assistant and coach before at a private school in New York.
Lopez said that teaching at a private school in New York is a pretty big difference from a public school in South Carolina.
“Where I came from the students are very well off for the most part and are paying $30-40,000 thousand a year for their education,” Lopez said. “They have a different background than most students here who might have to work or take care of their families after school, and I think down here it’s unfair to ask kids to do four hours of homework.”
Lopez’s students are grateful for his contributions to the school.
“He is a good teacher and knows how to explain everything, which makes the work easier to understand,” said sophomore Jaidyn Dixon. “He makes things more fun for the class because he’s such a nice teacher.”
Only a few weeks in and Lopez is already enjoying the Chapman atmosphere and is happy to be a part of the Panther family:
“I think the faculty has been super supportive and the students have been eager to learn. It’s been fun, and there is a lot of school spirit here, that’s for sure.”