Meet Joseph Amaro, a Sweetwater Union High School District teacher dedicated to educating students via creative and innovative instruction since 1995. For more than 20 years, Amaro has worn several hats in the Sweetwater District, most recently as an engineering, robotics, and advanced manufacturing ROP/CTE instructor at Montgomery High school, home of the Aztecs.
Prior to his current position at Montgomery High, Amaro worked at Sweetwater High, Bonita Vista High, Chula Vista High, Southwest High and Eastlake High School teaching auto shop and regional occupation program (ROP)/career technical education (CTE) courses.
For the past four years, Amaro has been the coach and mentor of the Sweetwater District’s competitive VEX Robotics Program, introducing students to the world of robotics. As such, Amaro oversees all 25 schools involved in the VEX Competitive Robotics Program. Amaro believes robotics is changing the lives of students “one robot at a time,” and he luckily plays a small part in that.
“It motivates me year after year the amazing opportunities that robotics students are realizing in their lives,” said Amaro. “Young men and women are attaining goals never before imagined. They are attending the colleges and universities of their choice. I see students attaining careers that were not even in existence ten years ago.”
Currently, the Sweetwater District is the only high school district in San Diego County that supports a middle school league and high school league with over 70 teams. “What our district has done over the last four years is to set a model for schools nationwide,” said Amaro.
Due to that model, last year the Sweetwater District program was asked to host the annual California State VEX Robotics Championships in March, over a four-day period at Montgomery High. This year after the State Championships, Amaro was asked to be a Judge Advisor at the Annual VEX Worlds Championships. “Having that experience totally energized and strengthened my resolve to get as many students in our community from elementary school through high school involved in robotics.”
According to Amaro, he has always had a servant’s heart interfacing and engaging in young people’s lives and seeing what project-based learning can do to motivate their desire to learn.
“I don’t consider myself as just a teacher,” said Amaro. “I believe my role as an educator is to provide proper emotional and intellectual support, along with various curriculum knowledge they will be able to use to make informed decisions as to their future career path. I am in the business of changing lives. I am having a great time.”