Photo by Cory Wyman ’16 – Mr. Hooten inputs grades at his desk before school, Feb. 26. Mr. Hooten primarily teaches APUSH, and used to teach for the Teach for America program.
By Chase L. Manson ’16
Now teaching all of the Advanced Placement U.S. History classes, Mr. Matt Hooten began his teaching career 11 years ago.
“I began in Teach for America,” Mr. Hooten said. “I was in the Littletown District teaching six grade.”
Teach for America is a nonprofit organization which serves underfunded schools with teachers.
“It’s like the Peace Corps but for teaching,” Hooten said. “A couple of faculty are alums of the program like Mr. John Taylor.”
Mr. Hooten got into to teaching as his parents were teachers and he attended Claremont McKenna College.
“I was always interested in education due to my parent’s job,” he said. “I was also looking forward to coaching high school basketball.”
Originally Mr. Hooten perused a political science major but changed after spring of his freshman year.
“I took this class on the Civil War and Reconstruction,” he said. “I was absolutely fascinated by the class, the readings, the teacher, everything.”
After the class Mr. Hooten tried to get in to a class on European History.
“I pestered the professor to let me in the class but it was full,” he said. “So I took advantage of his office hours and sat in the class, within a week he let me in the class.”
Afterword, Mr. Hooten took a class on the American presidency.
“The first semester of the class was fantastic, the teacher did imitations of the presidents and I really learned a lot,” Hooten said. “When second semester rolled around we learned about the cabinets and the political science component, it just wasn’t that interesting.”
Mr. Hooten then changed his major.
“History always interested me,” he said. “It is a story and looking at the leaders and their decisions are fascinating.
Freddie Erlandson ’15 was a student in Mr. Hooten’s AP US History class last year.
“His class was one of my hardest, but one of the most enjoyable,” Erlandson said. “He taught interesting lectures and pushed students to challenge themselves to be at their best all the time.”
Mr. Hooten‘s favorite time periods to study are the Civil War and World War 2.
Mr. Hooten is the head JV basketball coach.
“Since my mother was a teacher, she took me to basketball games when I was very young,” Mr. Hooten said. “She said when I was a toddler I would kick my legs in excitement.”
Mr. Hooten would also practice with his Nerf hoop.
“I would always practice with my Nerf hoop after games,” he said. “Also in the 90s the Portland Trialblazers hit their peak during my youth.”
Erlandson, now a varsity basketball player, was also coached by Mr. Hooten and said he believes in his coaching ability.
“I think the most important aspect of his coaching is his emphasis on being a team,” Erlandson said. “He coaches to the team and to each individual so that each person knows their role on the team and can perform their role effectively.”
Also in his childhood, Mr. Hooten gained an appreciation for the superhero Batman, which he retains to this day.
“Batman strives for justice which I like, it helps in understanding my fascination with social justice,” Mr. Hooten said. “The duplicity of Bruce Wayne is just fascinating.”