Teacher Feature: Mr. Gardner


Mr. Gardner from the 2017-2018 school year pictures. Credits to Verrado High School.

Logan Echeverria, VHS Writer

If you know Mr. Gardner, whether it be as a teacher or a club advisor, it is known that he has a passion for teaching. This year he is teaching Honors English II and AP Language and Composition, as well as the sponsoring of various clubs. His passions are not limited though; they extend to other activities outside of school.

“I am the advisor for both Key Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes,” Mr. Gardner said. “I love reading, writing, and traveling.  I have been to over 50 countries.  I also have a passion for comics and graphic novels, of which I own over a thousand.”

As anyone can see, Mr. Gardner has a passion for traveling and has created a list of places he has been. This applies to teaching too, as he has taught in multiple states.

“I have taught in two states: Tennessee and Arizona,” Gardner said. “I have traveled around the world and been on every continent except Antarctica. My favorite countries to visit are Italy and Spain.  I have lived overseas for long periods of time, mostly in Japan and Poland.  I served in the Navy for 5 years, where I was stationed in Virginia, Japan, and briefly in Afghanistan.”

Focusing on school relations, Mr. Gardner was eager to provide insight on how he thinks Verrado could be a better school to keep teachers for a longer period of time

“Retaining good teachers is tough,” Mr. Gardner said. “Us teachers do not make very much, and we are asked to do a lot. Over half of first year teachers never make it to ten years.”

As a teacher, Mr. Gardner doesn’t stop at the bare minimum for teaching requirements, but instead goes above and beyond to do what he can for his students. He highlights his strengths and proves that his mindset is in the right place.

“I am very good at teaching students how to write essays of all different kinds,” Mr. Gardner said. “It’s probably my greatest strength as a teacher. I teach my students that only by doing their best in everything they do, can they truly experience success.  Most people have low expectations for today’s youth. I try to have high ones.”

Many people may not know much about Mr. Gardner besides his teaching career. Prior to earning his teaching degree Mr. Gardner was in the Navy. He is also a proud Christian.

“The whole point of my life is to serve others,” Mr. Gardner said. “When I got out of the Navy, I wanted to continue to serve, and that’s what I do as a teacher every day. I want to be known first and foremost as a Christian, so church activities or anything related to my faith in Jesus is what I want to be known for.”

Sophomore Hailey Maloney in Mr. Gardner’s Honors English II class provided her perspective on being one of Gardner’s many students.

“Mr. Gardner is a good teacher who expects us to do our best, and I really like that he has high expectations for his students,” Maloney said. “Overall he is a very enthusiastic teacher and I respect him for that.”

Sophomore Mia Taylor agreed too. In her opinion she concluded that Mr. Gardner is an enthusiastic teacher and likes his methods for teaching.

“Mr. Gardner gives us room to learn hands on in a way by giving us lots of class work, and he doesn’t let us slack off,” Taylor said. “I appreciate the way he gives us responsibility to get our assignments done in our own paces.”

Overall, Mr. Gardner respectfully provides a great example to other teachers and students of how work can be done and accomplished. His example of balancing school and outside of school activities encourages others to keep a positive mindset and future for yourself.