Picking on the New Kid


Sydney Johnson

At the beginning of every year, students have no what to expect. Will our school look different, how many new kids will we have, will there be new teachers?


In YC’s case we have all three. When new teachers are hired things start to look different people act different and new rules are put in place.  With the new English teacher at our school, Matt Opitz, things are looking up.


Opitz is a first year teacher with over 4 years experience with helping and teaching disabled youth. Before he went to work at Yamhill Carlton he worked at Sherwood High School.


One fond memory he has from Sherwood is when they were in a pep rally and everyone stood up and students were crowding around a kid in a wheelchair cheering with him. When asked about how this made him feel about the future generation  he replied,”it made me feel good.”


Sherwood is much bigger than YC but that doesn’t stop him from enjoying himself here. He enjoys that you get to know your students better, and see them more often. Some of the drawbacks from working at a smaller school for Opitz are the heat problems, or lack thereof.


When he is not hanging out in his freezing or scorching classroom grading papers, he can be found playing basketball with his school pal Mr. McKinney and going airsoft shooting with his friends and family.


Even though he spends the day making it “one class at a time” as an english teacher, he didn’t always want to teach language arts. After he graduated from high school he went to college and majored in communication to fulfill his dream of being a sports broadcaster.


Opitz did not accomplish his dream.


Instead he found a new one. Opitz soon learned that he loved to work with kids and became a youth pastor for 15 years. And everyday he finds new ways to put his well thought out motto to the test.


“Always try your hardest”, he states. The line he lives by everyday while eating his shark fin soup, listening to Metallica, and getting employee store passes, and overall just feeling fabulous.