Alum and high school teacher: life experiences help connect with students

Ray Utter, (BA, BAE '14) a high school history teacher at Sandra Day O’Connor high school in Phoenix, Arizona, says that because of his life experiences and nontraditional journey to becoming a teacher, he can connect with a lot of students in different ways from what they are used to. “I can be a sounding board and give advice on their future plans,” he says. Because he’s been in the military, held blue collar jobs and went to community college — all before finishing his teaching degree — he brings a depth of understanding that some students need and most are looking for.

Watch Ray explain how and why he changed his career at the age of 33, and why he says the field of education needs people with diverse backgrounds.