Watkins wins 2020 teacher of the year

Due to his continuous support and contributions to Diamond Bar High School’s students and curriculum, teacher Ty Watkins was selected  as the school’s 2020 Teacher of the Year by his fellow staff for the fourth time. 

In his 16 years at DBHS, Watkins has coached boys and girls varsity basketball, boys varsity golf, girls varsity softball and freshman football. He has also been the FBLA adviser for 15 years and teaches AP Human Geography.

In addition to his long history at Diamond Bar, Watkins has also coached basketball and golf  at Foothills High School in Santa Ana.

Watkins said he started  his teaching career because of  his passion for sports. 

“Twenty five years ago I was interested in coaching basketball and a good friend of mine said that in order to be a head coach you needed to be a high school teacher [but] these rules [aren’t] the same anymore,” he said via email. 

Watkins has continued to be highly involved with the school throughout his teaching career. Just this year, he joined the Pathways Communication Academy where he instructs the Leadership class. During his time with PCA, Watkins has organized a behind-the-scenes tour of Knott’s Scary Farm, brought in several guest speakers including accomplished DBHS alumni to interact with his students and was in charge of overseeing the creation of this year’s Pathways Haunted House located in the 500 building (see “Behind the Screams: Pathways Haunted House” video on dbbullseye.com).  

On top of his dedication to this new class, Watkins also instructs AP Human Geography, a fairly new addition to the school’s curriculum which he piloted. 

“Five years ago, I was grading the AP exam for United States History, and many colleagues had mentioned that one of the best AP’s that is becoming more and more popular was AP Human Geography,” Watkins said. 

He explained that after discussing details with Assistant  Principal Matt Brummett and Instructional Dean Gabriel Aguilar, the class was approved and Watkins was permitted to begin teaching. 

 “It was a little easier [to gain approval] because the course has been offered at Walnut [high school] for seven years,” he said. 

Despite his great accomplishments and impact on DBHS both as a teacher and a mentor, Watkins expressed both surprise and gratitude upon receiving the title of  DBHS 2020 Teacher of the Year. 

“I am completely humbled by this award by our staff,” he said. “We have so many teachers on this campus who are deserving of this award. I felt so much love and [appreciation] from our staff, I do not have a large family so [the] Diamond Bar High School staff has been a great replacement.”