The Ranch Review

Mr. Ivary Retiring

Emiliano Soto, A&E Editor

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Otay Ranch is saying goodbye to many a teacher this concluding school year and one of them is Mr. Kenneth Ivary. Throughout his teaching career, Ivary has become a role model to the administration and a loveable companion to the student body. This year marks the end of Ivary’s teaching career and the first year of his retirement. This is what he had to say during our exclusive Ranch Review sit down interview. 


Was teaching your first career choice?  

– If no, what were your other ambitions?  

I had thought about teaching after graduation from high school, my father was a high school teacher.  I had planned to work for a year after high school but “Uncle Sam” came calling.  I found out I would be drafted in a month or two because of Vietnam War and decided to join the Navy instead if I was going to be forced to go into the service.  

If you could start all over again, how would you do so differently?  

No I am happy with basically everything that has happen in my life.  

How long have you she served in the current school?  

13 years at Otay Ranch, I came in the third year of the school.  

What other schools have you served in?  

Sweetwater High School for one semester, Montgomery for three years, Hilltop Middle for one year then on to Otay.  

What are your hopes for students?  

I want to see all students succeed and work to their best capability.  

What is your advice to aspiring teachers?  

It is a hard but very rewarding career.  Do not go into teaching because you are looking for job but want a career working with students and molding their future.  

Apart from hard work and persistence, what are the traits that successful students possess?  

Students that want to succeed will.  Many students think that high school it the toughest part of their life but as you get older it is the best part of your life for most people.  After you graduate you have to start “adulting” and life get harder.  

So you recall any extraordinary students? What characteristic did they have that made them extraordinary?  

I have seen many students that thought they were just average students excel and do great things later in life.  Students have to believe in themselves and work hard to reach their goals.  I hope that I have been an influence in some of my students and help mold them into very successful adults.  

What is your dream vacation?  

Already been there, Bora Bora.  I spent 21 years in the navy and traveled all over the world and my wife and I have traveled to many places also.  

How did you spend your summer breaks?  

Relaxing and doing “honey do” lists.  

What can you cook to perfection?   

I can cook almost everything.  I do all of the grilling and my wife does the rest but last Thanksgiving I did the whole meal: turkey, stuffing, and sides.  I also bake and make a mean pie.  

What makes a ‘good day’ at school?  

When I see a “light bulb” go off and a student finally gets a math concept that they did not understand.  

How do you show your school spirit?  

I have attended almost every football game since I have been at Otay.  I also try to attend the plays and other events.  I have been the class advisor for class of 2018 (along with Mr. Kray) and that is a big part for the last three years.  

What accomplishment fills you with pride so far this year?  

My own personal biggest accomplishment is the Mustang Buddies.  That club has given me the most joy over the last seven years.  

What sort of morning routine do you have to get jazzed for class?  

Are you kidding, I play lots of music and play it loud.  

How do you keep things fresh? [particularly good for seasoned teachers]  

I just have tried to make the classroom as fun as I can and still get the teaching done.  I know that more than half of my students come in the classroom and are subconsciously saying “I hate math” and I try to relieve that feeling with humor.  

What inspires you?  

Students succeeding.  This is my third career but to me it is the most rewarding.  My first two were just jobs but very interesting job but teaching is more to me as a reward to see students succeed.  I never had to start teaching because I retired twice already but teaching to me is both fun and rewarding.  

How does technology make teaching more simple or difficult?  

Are there any embarrassing teaching moments you’re willing to share? What are they?  

What’s the best/worst thing about being a teacher?  

In which other teacher’s class would you like to enroll, even for a day? Why?  

How do you make those connections with students?   

I just make connections by being myself.  I have had many students ask me for life advice over the years  

and I think they look at me as “the wise old grandpa”.  

How do you remember all of your students’ names?  

It gets harder as I get older.  

What is your first memory from ORH?  

Mr. Brosz hiring me, at the time I told him I would give him five good years and retire but I stayed 13 years.  

How do you think students will remember you and your class?  

I think I am going to be remembered as the old guy to plays lots of music.  

Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?  

Yes and no, I mean basically my philosophy has always been to find a chatear you enjoy, your life will be better if you’re doing something you really enjoy.  


In Spite of his retirement, Mr. Ivary exudes happiness and excitement for the future. The faculty at ORHS and the student body has and will benefit from the things Mr. Ivary has brought to this campus. Helping build clubs like Mustang Buddies. A club dedicated to celebrating the special needs students here on campus. As well as having a strong hand in other programs like Coffee Shop alongside Milo Soto and Kiara Stevenson, which raised a total of $1,500 for CO18. Mr Ivary’s legacy will linger throughout the halls of Otay Ranch.  

Mr. Ivary is one of those teachers that will be the last impression of my high school experience. I think he did so much for CO18  and mustang buddies, and even for me and Otay will never be the same without him.” – said ORHS senior, Kiara Stevenson.  



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