Mr. Contreras in front of his Biology banner in his classroom. (Credit: Brianna Andrade / Hp Spartan Shield)
Salvador Contreras has taught biology, physics, and physiology at Huntington Park High school since 2006.
Born in Jalisco, Mexico, Mr. Contreras arrived in the United States at 15 years old. He struggled adapting to the new environment and way of learning in this country because of the language barrier. At one point, he failed several classes during his freshman year and had to make up the grades over a short period of time. This pushed him to work hard and putting effort into his schoolwork.
When it was his senior year, he applied to several universities and got accepted to most of them. He chose to attend University of Southern California (USC) because of their dentistry program. His initial career goal was to become a dentist because he had always been interested in the sciences and wanted to work hands-on in the health field. While at USC, he changed his major twice, from biology to spanish, and then back to biology. The switch to Spanish rooted from volunteering with other peers. Since Mr. Contrears is fluent in Spanish, he found the classes easy, so he switched back to biology to be more challenged. He graduated with a bachelors of science in biology from USC.
After graduating from university, he realized that he didn’t want to pursue dentistry anymore, but instead become a teacher. He went on to acquire his teaching credential from California State University, Los Angeles and began teaching shortly. He has been teaching for over 2 decades and what keeps him in this profession is interacting with different people everyday.
Aside from his professional life, Mr. Contreras is a family man and enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. He likes art and enjoys sculpting. He is proud of his Mexican culture that includes the traditions, foods, and people being family oriented.
Written by former editor-in-chief, Brianna Andrade