Teacher Profile – Ken Whitley

whitleyKen Whitley, math teacher

Ken Whitley is one of the many faces of the Robotics program. Ever since the program’s recent years, students have talked about its success and what they have gotten from their experience.

Whitley, a recent mentor in the program, is in a different situation. It was the students who have guided him through the program.

“It’s a good organization,” says Whitley. “It does a lot of everything. Whether its dealing with codes, or building things with power tools for the first time. It’s fun.”

This is Whitley’s second year teaching at the school, but he had previously taught at Camelback. He was a part of Camelback’s science program when he transferred to Hayden and discovered the robotics program.

“I learned a lot from the students; they were a lot better at these things than I was,” said Whitley. “You’re so used to a teacher telling you what to do, but this was different. ”

Whitley’s passion has always been working with technology, even though his parents wanted something different.

“It’s been intense work, and at times it gets hard. But it doesn’t matter how hard it gets, because you always see results,” he says.

Robotics has shown proof that there are opportunities not just for students, but for  everyone.

“I would love to be a student right now, because these types of organizations were once rare,” said Whitley. “You constantly learn in this program, and it’s very tangible to see the whole process come along.”

-by Monica Contreras (3.11.11)


raetherGary Raether
, English Teacher

Gary Raether has been teaching at Carl Hayden for 26 years and currently teaches English 5-6 Honors. Even though he has been teaching for 31 years, he decided to stay here at Hayden.

“I have taught about every English class there is and also some history but the one I really have passion for is English,” said Raether.

Raether was born in Rockford, Illinois, and was there until he moved to Arizona at the age of 22. He came here because he wanted to go to the University of Arizona. Visiting his friend and climbing the Grand Canyon were also motives for him to move to Arizona.

“I like to ride horses, play computer games, and read,” said Raether.

He has a ranch in Heber, Arizona, and that is where he goes to ride his horses in his spare time and when he just wants to relax. One thing he does not really like this year is the fact that it has been cold.

“It’s been cold but not as bad as where I came from,” Raether said.

An interesting thing about Raether that most people don’t know is that he dropped out of college. He didn’t know what he wanted to do for a living and found college useless. He thought that he was just wasting his time and just dropped out. He later then went back to the University of Arizona to get his degree to be an English teacher.

-by Ricardo Ruelas (3.2.11)