50th Anniversary Alumni Profile: Gina Pearce
October 21, 2016
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Gina Pearce could never seem to get to school on time, regularly showing up a few minutes late. She simply was not a morning person.
Now a math teacher and district technology coach at Dos Pueblos, Pearce comes to school on time almost every day to share her love of math with her students.
When she first joined the class of 1993, DP was a bit of an uncertain choice. Back then there were only about 1,000 students at the school and the threat of closure was often present. But for her, there simply was no other choice.
“I wanted to go to the school in my neighborhood”, said Pearce, whose older brothers were also Chargers. “That’s where everybody in our neighborhood came, to DP.”
Compared to the more popular San Marcos, or “San Mucus” as it was then colloquially known, DP offered a closer community.
“When I walk through the hallways during passing periods now, I mean, you can barely get through the hallways” said Pearce. “Before, even the bell would ring and it would be empty space”.
Because of this, Pearce felt that it was possible to get to know everybody.
It was in this small-town environment that Pearce flourished, taking a special interest in the cheerleading team and all the competitions, camps, and team-building events that came with it.
“It was my life for four years,” said Pearce. “It was a time to hang out and, you know, connect with other girls that were interested in the same things.”
Around the same time, Pearce first truly gained her appreciation for math in the classroom of Jim Holmes, first period teacher of the class she was so often tardy to. Whereas all English offered was a mess of perspectives and different interpretations, math gave Pearce a challenge with a logical finish.
“It always has challenged me, I love how it makes you think,” said Pearce, who especially loves the finality of a correct answer. “It’s kind of nerdy, I know, but I like it. It just clicks with me.”
When Holmes first offered her back a test with the sincere advice that she should be a math teacher, she shrugged it off. “ ‘Pff, heeeck no’, is what I thought as a high school student,” said Pearce.
By the time she got to college however, she was pursuing a degree in science and mathematics with the intention to put it to use in the classroom. She still kept her options open, but tutoring other students in math confirmed to her that teaching was the path she was going to take.
As a leading organizer for Thursday’s anniversary festivities, Pearce sees this as a chance to share a bit of what made her time at DP a fun experience with the Chargers of today.
“It’s bringing back the old and showing the new what the old’s all about,” said Pearce with visible glee. “The walk down memory lane is going to be awesome because it just shows some of the things that went on at DP that could never exist today.”