By Claudia Pacheco | Editor in Chief
September 25, 2015
Transferring from Capistrano Valley High School, Mr. Enmeier is entering his first year of teaching AP Psychology and AP European History at SCHS this year. Because Mr. Enmeier was Triton himself, he now teaches alongside staff who educated and worked when he attended SCHS. We decided to catch up with Mr. Enmeier and gain some insight into his life inside and outside of the classroom and find out what he is most excited for in his first year of teaching here.
1. Since you were a student at San Clemente High School yourself, has the school changed significantly in the last decade?
“It has and it hasn’t. For instance, this part of the quad wasn’t here and in my senior year, that building across my classroom was just built. But in terms of culture, it’s the same. Everyone’s still got the surf town mentality. The teachers and staff are still great, and the students are too. When I was in high school, though, cell phones were just coming out. I didn’t get my first cell phone until my freshman year of college. Some of my friends in high school had some and I was like, “What, this is crazy.” But the only game on the cell phone was ‘Snake’ where you’d go around to get the apple. That was the only app you could have, and the phones were chunky and heavy. So cell phones weren’t really a big thing. It was all about at home AOL Instant Messenger.”
2. What inspired you to become a teacher?
“You know, I woke up one day and asked myself, ‘What should I do with my life? I guess I’ll become a teacher!’ I come from a family of teachers. My mom was a teacher, my dad was a teacher, my sister is a teacher, my brother-in-law is a teacher, I have aunts who are teachers. It sort of runs in the family. More than that though, I thoroughly enjoy history. I love the excitement of finding new things and seeing students become interested in something that they may not have been before. When you see those students have that ‘Aha!’ moment – that they’re getting it and may want to go deeper with it – makes it a great experience. I like to question them, and get thoughts out of them deeper than the surface level of, ‘What does this term mean?'”
3. Do you think your knowledge in Psychology will help you raise your son?
“Oh, it already has. Right now he’s learning to speak, and he’s already learning how to try and get what he wants. He’ll cry for attention when he really doesn’t need it. So we have to try to figure out how to set boundaries with him, even at a year and a half. And things like being picky with food – we’re figuring out how to get past that. Just having the joy of seeing his development is so much fun, and Psychology goes right along with that.”
4. Other than raising your son, what are some other hobbies you have outside of the classroom?
“I like to surf. I love to travel, and if I could I would travel all the time. I like to hike and hang out with my family. I would definitely recommend my students to study abroad. I got to study abroad for four months in Rome, and that was one of the best experiences of my life. I lived right across the street from the Vatican, and I rode my bike through history every day.”
5. Between AP European History and AP Psychology, which class are you most excited to teach this year?
“They are so different – night and day. They are approached completely different as well. Psychology is about getting all of these concepts down, and history is about coming up with arguments and proving them through evidence. So you can’t say one is more exciting than the other. This is my first year teaching AP Euro though, so in that sense, it’s exciting because I’ve never done it before. What’s funny is that I had Mrs. Sigafoos when I was a student here, so it’s really fun to work with her and work with Mr. Swenson as well. It’s a great group. My specialty in college was Medieval History, so it’s fun to bring that in as well.”
As a native surfer and outdoorsman from San Clemente, Mr. Enmeier approaches his first year fitting right into the Triton atmosphere. By making his students laugh and think outside the box every day, he teaches in a way that makes even dull subjects hard to forget. He also spreads his extensive knowledge of history and worldly perspective from his travels to students, inspiring them to dream big. Keep your eye out for Mr. Enmeier on campus, Tritons!