Two years ago, right before the first period on the first day of my first year here at Eagle Rock, I was nearly dying of nerves and anxiety about every little detail. I thought I was going to be late, so I showed up 30 minutes earlier than most everyone at the school, students and teachers alike. After wandering around the halls for what felt like hours, I decided to sit in front of the class I would be having first: Life Sciences with Mr. Oswald. None of my friends were there yet, and the halls were empty. Basically, I was alone in this giant, unknown building. So, on the verge of tears and a breakdown, I frantically knocked on the door next to me, and Mr. Oswald appeared.
Keep in mind he had absolutely no idea who this little red-faced 7th grader was and why she showed up half an hour early, but he welcomed me inside his room, sat me down, then pulled out the biggest tub of Red Vines I had ever seen. This act of kindness resonated with me, and I believe it contributes to his amazing teaching style. He truly cares about each and every one of his students, supporting them through to the end of their school career. He believes that it’s most important to “do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do”.
When asked what he thinks his greatest achievement at Eagle Rock was, Mr. Oswald said, “I take a lot of pride in being able to look around at the things kids call tradition and think… I helped make that happen.” So, you know when you walk down the halls and see stickers on lockers declaring the sports that everyone is in? Or have you heard of the Diploma Program or Key Club? All Mr. Oswald. Many fundamental aspects of our school are due to Mr. Oswald and the time and hard work he’s put into making Eagle Rock great.
In his 25 years of working at ERHS, Oswald has been the supervisor of Key Club and ASB, has taught college classes at night, and has sponsored the graduating classes of 2004 and 2013. I know what you’re thinking: How can one person do that much? To be honest, I have no idea. Not only does he dedicate genuine time to these activities, he works so hard to make the entire thing an incredible experience. In his years working with ASB, he made the class and club more than just an obligation or a class you take to look good on a college application.
Oswald’s goal when it comes to teaching and putting on school events is to make students feel as though they haven’t just walked into another day at Eagle Rock, but instead have been transported to Disneyland. Think about it: when walking into Disneyland, one isn’t thinking about the long wait-times for rides or the heat. Instead, they are enchanted by the sites and the magic of the whole thing. Mr. Oswald wants to ensure that school becomes more than classes, stress, and tests; it’s amazing dances and quad games and countless other activities that make attending fun.
So, the next time you take part in a quad game or go to an amazing school dance, think of Mr. Oswald. Think of how much hard work he’s put into ERHS, shaping it to be more than just a school. Maybe you can remember the class you took with him and how much he cares about each of his students. Take a moment to appreciate how different our lives at Eagle Rock would be without everything he has done for us. Thank you, Mr. Oswald.