Venice Graduate Gives Back to the School as a Football Coach

Graham Wells

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Ryan Shimizu is a Venice High School graduate and continues to give back to the school as the physical education teacher and assistant coach of the Varsity football team. He graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, and applies what he’s learned directly to class by teaching his students about why physical education is beneficial.

What year did you attend Venice?

I attended Venice from 2001 to 2005 and I graduated in 2005.

How long have you been a coach at Venice?

This is my fifth year teaching at the school and my eighth year as a coach. 

What do you like or dislike about your job?

I like the diversity at the school and I like the people that I work with as well as coaching the kids. There’s not much that I dislike, but I do wish there was more school spirit. And I wish some of the kids were better, but it’s a part of the job.

How is Venice different from when you were a student?

The biggest change for me is that I’m no longer a student. It’s also different because from what I’ve seen, the overall spirit of the school isn’t the same. I don’t think the kids enjoy going here as much as they used to, but we’re trying to fix that. 

How do you feel about Venice’s reconstruction?

It’s bittersweet. I like it because we’re going to get some new, well-deserved updates, but it’s also sad because it’s a place that has a lot of history and it looks pretty much the same as it does when I went here and years before that. When they took down the building that had the Venice mural, it was kind of sad. 

How does it feel to give back to the school and its students?

It feels great. I grew up here, and I love being able to give back. Teaching kids to do what I couldn’t accomplish and to go further than I did, that’s the most rewarding part for me. The reason why I chose to become a teacher is so I could do that.