The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The many books on the nightstand of Ricardo Carmona


Ricardo Carmona is a new History teacher who teaches Latin American History and 9th and 10th graders Connecting History to Community. I thoroughly enjoyed geeking out about Star Wars with him as well as learning about his prioritization of students’ curiosity in his classroom. 


Who was your favorite of your teachers when you were a student? What impact did they have on you? 


My favorite teacher was probably my senior year Spanish literature teacher, because it was a class where we could comfortably explore ideas and explore concepts about culture and language and how things evolve. She’s just a very nice person, and she supported our curiosities. 


What books are on your nightstand and/or coffee table right now?


I have a bunch. I have “Flawless,” which is a book about Korean beauty standards, the new Elon Musk biography, I have a book about how parking can change the U.S. and how parking lots are going to change the architecture of the U.S., and “How to Hide an Empire,” a US history book. 


What is the most impactful interaction you’ve had with a student? 


It’s a moment where I talked with a student and talked them through some identity issues. They were exploring their gender, their sexuality, their ethnic identity. It was impactful in the sense that I felt I made a difference in his life by kind of helping him through those moments and was one of the teachers that started calling him “he” instead of  “she” through the first parts of his transition. So that was very impactful for me, and I hope for him as well. 


What is a “fan-favorite” part of your teaching style? In other words, what is it about your classes that students love? 


I tend to be very laissez-faire when it comes to the way the class is organized so that the students can run the class. So even though we might start with a certain agenda, I’ll change it if the kids are interested in whatever is happening in the world or if they’re curious about one specific aspect of what we’re studying, I’ll move things that way. So I try to be as flexible as possible to respect the students’ curiosity.


When you were a little kid what did you want to be when you grew up?  


Weirdly enough, I wanted to be a historian. Since I was a kid, I always loved history, and I wanted to be a historian. So that was always my dream.


What is your favorite piece of media and why? What impact did it have on you? 


Star Wars and Star Trek. I love both fandoms. I grew up with them. I love the books, the video games. There’s nothing specifically about them but I definitely have always enjoyed reading them and watching movies. 


What is one thing you are obsessed with right now? 


My kid. I have a two-and-a-half year old, so I’m very obsessed with seeing him grow up and play around. That’s what’s center for me right now.

This story is part of the series “Q&Avery” by Counterpoint on new teachers around the circle this school year.

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About the Contributor
Avery Neuner
Avery Neuner, Editor of Opinions
Avery Neuner ‘24 is the Editor of Opinions for Counterpoint. She has been writing for Counterpoint for three  years and has been a writer her whole life. In addition to journalism, she is a published author in short story and poetry.

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