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Anthony Unchangco teaches with encouragement and enthusiasm

Anthony Unchangco leads his students in a P.E. activity during his 7th period class that he teaches with Bill Huffman. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press
Anthony Unchangco leads his students in a P.E. activity during his 2nd period class. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

When he’s not coaching basketball at Santa Paula High School or attending a Dodger’s baseball game with his friends, Anthony Unchangco can be found teaching P.E. and Health/Geography with dedication, enthusiasm, and heart.

Before Unchangco joined the Foothill staff this year, he worked as a P.E. teacher at Haydock Intermediate School in the Oxnard School District and in elementary and middle schools in the Pleasant Valley School District in Camarillo. He also enjoyed his previous position as the Senior Program Director for the YMCA Ventura branch.

Unchangco has found his transition to Foothill to be a pleasant and accommodating experience.

“If I could sum it up in one word, it’s been welcoming,” he said. “The students and the staff have all been very welcoming and it’s nice to see, because as someone new, whether you’re a student or staff, it definitely makes it easier to transition.”

Unchangco was inspired to become a teacher after working with the teen programs at the YMCA. He loved helping the kids and he thought that he would be able to do that better through teaching.

“You know, coaching sports and being an on-campus coach, [I wanted to interact] with students on a more daily and regular basis. Having a larger impact is really what I think drew me more towards teaching,” he said.

Unchangco puts his students first, making sure that they learn what they need to know in a fun, interactive way. He has already used the classroom iPads for an interactive pop quiz in Geography and is excited for the upcoming America Eats project.

“I think being here at Foothill, it’s definitely more accepting for those non-traditional styles, and I think it’s great for the kids to see that,” he said.

On Friday, Unchangco implemented his interactive and collaborative teaching style by having his P.E. students participate in team-building and positive communication games.

“I think he’s a great teacher. He’s hardworking and he concentrates on helping his students do the best that they can do,” said student Manish Manwani.

“He cares about the students so much,” said Bill Huffman, who co-teaches 7th period P.E. with Unchangco. “He’s a very genuine guy. You just talk to him and you get that from him.”

Even though the lack of P.E. facilities has been challenging, Huffman says that he has really enjoyed working with him.

“Whenever someone comes, they bring a fresh new idea and then you start bouncing off ideas off each other. I just think that makes a richer environment,” Huffman explained.

Unchangco believes that working with Huffman will be a great experience for both him and the students.

“He’s very knowledgable; He’s very receptive to new and other ideas,” said Unchangco of Huffman.

Along with teaching P.E., Unchangco wants to become involved with the upcoming sports teams.

“To be able to teach and coach at the same school would be something that I would definitely want to do in the future, if the opportunity came,” he said.

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