Teacher of the Issue: High praise for Patino

Former college educator brings his skills to high school English classroom


Sreehitha Moravaneni

Coppell High School English II teacher Stephen Patino engages with sophomore Madison Larson during fifth period in his classroom on Oct.19. Patino is a first-year teacher at CHS and was selected as the second Teacher of the Issue for the 2020-21 school year.

Blanche Harris, Social Media Manager

Coming from University of Texas at Dallas, Coppell High School English teacher Stephen Patino has taught for two years. WIth this year being his first year teaching at CHS, Patino is excited to get to know his students and create a positive environment for everyone.

Why did you become a teacher?

It’s where I’m happiest. Before this, I wanted to be a college professor, I was at UT Dallas, but there were so many responsibilities that got tacked to the job. With conferences, researching, publishing and labs, it sucked the fun away from it, and I wasn’t in my element. I knew I wanted to teach, so I decided [to teach at] the high school level. I could still be happy, but without the added pressures on the job. 

What is your favorite experience with a student? 

[There are] a bunch that stand out. There are a lot of moments that don’t seem huge, but they meant a lot to me. Any time a student opens up to me, saying that my teaching helped them understand a topic or that they were able to connect with me. Talking with my students about their interests like movies, music, food, that is what means a lot to me. They aren’t once in a blue moon, it’s the everyday things. 

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Madrid, Spain. I have family up there, and I got to visit there once during my senior year of high school at Carroll Senior High School. I haven’t been able to go there again, but it is one of my favorite places in the world. 

If you could have another career, what would it be?

Well, if I had the skills, the NBA. But, wow, I don’t know. Probably a doctor so I could help more people. I would probably specialize in oncology so I could help fight cancer. It would enable me to help more people, and touching peoples’ lives is very important to me.

What is your favorite movie?

Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock. I love that movie so much, it’s perfect. It kind of fits COVID-19. Jimmy Stewart is just sitting in his room watching his neighbors, so it’s a movie about watching people watching movies. It has that element of, is your neighbor a killer or not, so it’s amazing. Hitchcock is my favorite director, Stewart is one of my favorite actors and Bernard Herman does the score. It hits all three of my favorite things, and it is just such an amazing movie. 

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