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The Wred Feather

The Student News Site of Wredling Middle School

The Wred Feather

The Wred Feather

The Hawk Talk

with Mr. Rocha
The+Hawk+Talk

About a month or two ago I had an opportunity to sit with Mr. Rocha. He is such an amazing person. Did you know he has had many jobs before teaching here at Wredling? Who will Mr. Rocha want the next interviewee to be? Keep reading to find everything out about the wonderful Mr.Rocha.

Interviewer: Haileigh Prill

Interviewee: Mr.Rocha


What do you teach?

I teach Art and Drama to 7th and 8th grade.

Why do you like teaching? What inspired you to become a teacher?

I like teaching because I like to be with you guys. I started late… I was 37. I had lots of jobs. I found out that I probably learn more from you guys than you guys do from me. I just like being around middle schoolers. Even though you guys can be annoying some days, you guys are still awesome. What inspired me to teach? Well, originally I wanted to do something in psychology. I loved my psychology teacher. I got involved with Theater because of a teacher. I did audio because of a teacher. I started realizing that maybe I didn’t like all these things but maybe I liked teaching. So many teachers inspired me.

Do you like teaching at Wredling?

I LOVE teaching at Wredling. I don’t ever, ever, ever want to teach anywhere else. I followed Mr. Loversky. I started teaching at Thompson but then Mr. Loversky came over here and I said well, I’m going over there with him. But then I had you and everyone else. I just love it here at Wredling and I love all of you. I love the building. I love the feel. I think Mr. Loversky is a great principal. I just love this building.

Who is your teacher’s best friend? Or like your favorite teacher, that isn’t yourself.

HaHa. Me? No.

Mr. Loversky and I just hit it off right from the start. There are a lot of things that we are alike and different about. Who else? Ms. Tyska, Mr. Massie, there’s just so many. The problem with being a teacher on a cart or a traveling teacher like I am is I get to spend time talking to everyone. I’ve been on a lot of teams and I’ve just had a great connection with everyone. Mr. Massie and I have been working together for a while now.

What do you like doing outside of school?

I mostly love hanging out with my family, but they have grown up and we can’t do that now. Here comes the nerd! I love reading comics and I love action figures. Watching movies and doing art. I have an art studio in my basement. But I love spending time with my family most.

Do you have any kids?

Two! One is in Walt Disney World doing the college Disney program. She works in Epcot at the China booth and the American Express. The other one is about to get married and is a special education teacher at a  Milwaukee high school.

(From left to right is Mr. Rocha, his wife Kelley, and their two daughters (Cate and Meghan)

You direct plays right? Have your girls been in any of the plays you’ve directed?

No, but one of the reasons that I direct plays is because my daughters did theater in high school and middle school. Before they graduated I would volunteer in their plays but then when they graduated I decided to start directing plays here! But honestly, I don’t think that they could have been in my plays.

Why?

Megan is very much like me, emotional, very out there, and very big. And Cate just got the really goofy side of me. But as everyone would be listening to me direct they would be like “Oh come on Dad.” I mean, they are my daughters. I think they would be embarrassed by half the stuff I do in this building.

What is your favorite play you’ve directed?

My favorite play will always probably be the last one I’ve directed. Right now it’s the Brothers Grim Spectacularthon. Before that, it was Charlie Town. Every play is different. I get to see kids do things they would never usually do. I always love where they take me, they always take me to places I would’ve never assumed the play would’ve gone. I know that when we finish I Hate Shakespeare that will be my favorite. There are moments in every play that are like pure magic and like the best I could’ve done. But it’s all the kids that make it good, I’m just there to play.

So, do you have any big plans for this play?

Yes! As a matter of fact, I’m going to do something I don’t normally do… there will be costumes. Typically I wouldn’t say I like theater with a lot of sets, props, and costumes. I grew up in the Chicago era of theater in the early 90s where you typically rented a storefront and put on a play. They would rent out the storefront, practice a play, show the play, and be gone within a week. It was all about the acting. With this play, I don’t want to give much away, but there are parts with costumes that should really bring out the aspect of the play.

Do you like Taylor Swift?

Haha, who told you to ask me that? If you asked me that about 2-3 years ago, the answer would have been no. But I work with a wonderful human being who adores Taylor Swift. It’s kind of rubbing off on me. I still don’t like her earlier stuff but her newer stuff I’m starting to appreciate. I think she is an amazing role model for women. But her music, meh.

What other jobs have you had in the past? Which one was your favorite?

I have had so many jobs before I became a teacher.  I was a paperboy, I worked delivering food at my father’s restaurant. I was a cashier and front of the building manager at a supermarket. I was a bus boy.  I worked in a warehouse driving a fork truck and loading and unloading trucks, and I managed a subway all before I graduated college (and all for many years each, often overlapping).  Since college, I’ve been a (laughter please) Fashion Manager at K-Mart (flagship store – I helped introduce the Kathy Ireland and the Jacklyn Smith fashion lines). I started a theater company and worked for many different theaters. I was a recording engineer/sound designer for 15 years (two years on the Oprah show). I was a graphic artist and painted murals for children’s rooms and stores. I worked summer camp at Mooseheart and at D303, taught all grades 3rd through 8th, including Infinity and Social Studies, and am now the Art and Drama teacher. Outside of teaching, which is my absolute favorite, being a recording engineer and getting to work in theater are my favorites.  I like being creative and having a job where I can use my creativity makes me the happiest!

What is your favorite memory growing up?

In my senior year of college, my dad wouldn’t let me move in with my friends who had already owned an apartment. Well, it was Christmas time and we didn’t have a tree. So we went to the president of the university’s house and we looked through all these trees he had in his backyard. My friend Jim climbed to the top of this one tree and cut the top off. The president came out of his house to find half a tree without its top. He could’ve kicked us out but he did not. We just had to replant another tree.

Mr. Rocha through the ages!
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Who should we interview next?

I’d say Mr. Massie because he is one of my closest friends. He’s just done so much and he’s such a genius.

Tori: Omg… I love Mr. Massie!

Will Mr. Massie be the next interviewee? Stay tuned to find out!


I hope you guys enjoyed reading this new edition of The Hawk Talk. If you have any recommendations for new interviews make sure to let us know!

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More to Discover
About the Contributor
Haileigh Prill
Haileigh Prill, Editor and Chief
Hi! I am Haileigh Prill, the editor and chief of the Wredhawk News. I started this newspaper last year with another student as well as Mr.Loversky. I am very proud to be releasing these papers to you guys.  I am an 8th grader, pod 8-3. My email is [email protected]

Comments (4)

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  • D

    Dylan StoopsMar 12, 2024 at 7:21 pm

    This is a good article Haileigh, love Mr. Rocha

    Reply
  • M

    Mrs. SislowMar 12, 2024 at 2:18 pm

    What a fabulous interview, Haileigh! You asked Mr. Rocha great quesitons.

    Reply
  • P

    Parthvi PatelMar 12, 2024 at 12:51 pm

    You should interview Mr. Ashline

    Reply
  • H

    Hannah PetersonMar 8, 2024 at 11:30 am

    Love this article!! It’s so interesting to get an insight in teachers’ lives and backgrounds. Thanks for this edition!

    Reply