Tyler Ortiz

Mathematics Teacher
The Thacher School


Tyler studied business at the University of Arizona and got his MBA at San Diego State University before going into financial planning. After a few years working in this field, he decided to make a career change and ultimately found himself working at Asheville School in North Carolina. Now, in his ninth year of high school education, Tyler is back on the west coast where he is teaching Algebra II and Honors Statistics, and coaching football and basketball at The Thacher School in Ojai, California.

Tyler is an experienced AP Statistics teacher who is as proud of his work on the athletic fields and courts as he is of his work in the classroom. During his nine years working in boarding school education, he has coached varsity boys and girls basketball, eight and 11-man football, and golf. His favorite thing about teaching is simply coming to work each day. He feels fortunate to have a career that doesn't feel like a "job." One of the things he was looking for when he left the world of personal finance was a career path that felt more like a calling, and he has found that in teaching and coaching. Joking with students, seeing them wrestle with new topics, and experiencing the highs and lows of an athletic season are a few of the things that Tyler feels make working in education so rewarding.

Tyler believes that if you want to work in K-12 education, then you should do it! He advises, “There are many different ways to get into this field, and it is never too late to make a career change.” He believes students benefit from teachers and mentors who want to be there, so whether it is by taking a traditional route of getting a degree in teaching, or following his path of trial and error, the most important element is a desire to do this type of work. Tyler adds, “Teachers in mathematics, specifically, need to have creativity and energy. Many students arrive in a math classroom with the belief that they either are or are not a math student. The job of the math teacher is to challenge those high-flying students who need little in terms of instruction, while also engaging the students who would rather be anywhere else in the world but in that room. A one size fits all approach rarely works, so creativity is hugely important!”

“Hispanic Heritage Month is an important reminder to me of the great work that has been done and continues to be done by Hispanic Americans. I am able to enjoy a wonderful career at a beautiful school thanks to the hard work done by family members who came before me. Whether it was my grandparents working on the family ranch to provide for their family, or my parents instilling the importance of education in me at a young age, I have many Hispanic heroes I can think of in my own life.”