By Iyanna Matthews / Features Editor and Jordan Ward / Staff Writer
Victor Sandoval, who is an Riverside City College alumni, has dedicated his life to the bettering of students here at RCC.
Sandoval wasn’t always the best student; he didn’t receive the best grades in high school so when it came time to enroll in college and RCC was his only option.
“I feel that RCC is the perfect place for people like me that may need a second chance,” he said. “I was pushed in a variety of directions until I was able to decide what I wanted to do.”
Sandoval was able to transfer out of RCC within two years, where he then continued his education at UC Santa Barbra earning his master’s degree in political science with an emphasis in reading.
While enrolled at Santa Barbra, Sandvoal was very active in local politics.
Touring with a local politician to a school inspired him to become a teacher.
“It was during this time when I was working with politicians, and visiting schools that I realized what I really wanted to do was teach,” Sandoval said. “I felt that I could make more changes in the world with students rather than policy.”
Sandoval began his first teaching job in Riverside. He taught seventh-grade English at La Sierra Middle School for eight years. He then continued to teach various levels of English at John W. North High School for about 10 years.
Now as an instructor his main goal and motivation is to “turn students on to the life of reading.”
This drive stems from the influence of his instructors at RCC.
Kirstina Kauffman, retired political science professor at RCC, was Sandoval’s inspiration to change his major.
“Her class was very interactive it’s something I always looked forward to,” Sandoval said.
“Taking her class helped me establish the fact that I could be a student,” he said.
Tom Johnson one of Sandoval’s former professors is a constant reminder in Room 103 of the Quadrangle where Sandoval taught three classes last semester. Johnson’s picture hangs on the wall and acted as a reminder in what he aspires to be as a teacher.
“To me the photograph of this instructor in my classroom, is reassuring,” he said. “I really enjoyed the hands on teaching style, as well as centering instruction on what the students want and need.”
Sandoval said he came back to RCC to teach because he believes that the school is still the same place it was when he was a student.
“They still have the same mission statement, and the same quality of instruction. I am very happy I’m here,” he said.