20 Questions with Orangewood High School’s all-sport coach and teacher Mark Perkins

By JOCELYN GOMEZ

Many students have had Mark Perkins as a teacher or coach since they started at Orangewood High School and he’s always made them feel welcomed and acknowledged as students. He also motivates students to finish school and aim for success. Perkins is a favorite teacher for many students and plays a role as a model teacher at Orangewood.

Perkins, who is physical education teacher, coach of all four sports and athletic director at Orangewood, answers twenty questions about himself.

Mark Perkins, Orangewood High School physical education teacher and coach, huddles with members of the Orangewood soccer team. (JOCELYN GOMEZ/ Ethic News photo)

Q: What is your position or title? Pronouns?

Mark Perkins: He, him and Mr.

Education

Mark Perkins, Orangewood High School physical education teacher and coach, looks on as the soccer team practices at Orangewood. (JOCELYN GOMEZ/ Ethic News photo)

Q: What are some of the classes you teach or main responsibilities with this position?

Perkins: Athletics Director, Coach, PE teacher

Q: How long have you worked in education?

Perkins: 28 years

Q: Have you held any jobs outside of education?

Perkins: Not really, I have always been a teacher.

Q: What led you to the position you are in today?

Perkins: I had an uncle that was a PE teacher, this was the spark that got me thinking about teaching P.E.

Q: What is one of your favorite parts of your job?

Perkins: Finding the students that are the diamonds but don’t know it yet!

Q: What is a challenging part of your job?

Perkins: The drama that the students have. It is hard to deal with every situation perfectly and drama complicates that.

Q: What is something others may not understand or know about who you are or what you do?

Perkins: I push students to be successful and sometimes that is misunderstood.

Mark Perkins, Orangewood High School physical education teacher and coach, huddles with members of the boys and girls soccer teams at Orangewood. Perkins coaches all sports at Orangewood: basketball, soccer, volley ball and softball. (JOCELYN GOMEZ/ Ethic News photo)

Growing up and Early Influences

Q: Where did you grow up? What was life like then and there?

Perkins: Ontario Canada is where I grew up. It is very green there and not very many people live there compared to the USA. So we have lots of country around us.

Q: What were you like as a teenager?

Perkins: I was really into sports and exercise, surprise surprise. 

Q: Did you have any mentors or role models growing up? How did they influence you?

Perkins: I had an uncle that was a P.E. teacher. When I was in the 8th grade I found out that in college you could go to school and be a P.E. teacher. I had no idea before that P.E. was a college degree.

Q: Is there an experience or event that had a major influence on who or where you are today?

Perkins: In college I took a job fishing in Alaska. My boat sank and I floated around in the ocean for seven hours until someone found my group.

Q: What advice would you give your teenage-self?

Perkins: I would tell me to not be afraid to share your emotions with the person you trust the most in life.

Mark Perkins, Orangewood High School physical education teacher and coach, stands by the field before a soccer match at Orangewood. (JOCELYN GOMEZ/ Ethic News photo)

Mr. Perkins Today

Q: Do you like to travel? What notable places have you visited?

Perkins: I do like to travel. France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy are places in Europe I have visited.

Q: Which languages do you speak?

Perkins: I only speak English.

Q: What music do you like and do you play any instruments?

Perkins: 80’s Rock and when I was in high school I played the saxophone.

Q: Would you be willing to share a little about your family and/or pets?

Perkins: I have been married for 31 years and have two daughters, [ages] 21 and 24. Pets include two dogs, one Chihuahua mix — wife’s dog — and a purebred Dutch Shepherd — my dog.

Q: Do you have skills, interests or hobbies that you would like to share?

Perkins: I love computers. I know how to use both PC and Mac computers. In addition to weight lifting, I also enjoy biking and the beach.

Q: What do you enjoy doing most with family and friends?

Perkins: I enjoy going to church, the beach, movies and hanging out with my friends.

Q: What is a goal you have?

Perkins: I want to travel more. Once my kids have both graduated from college, my wife and I want to see more countries of the world.

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