Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Martin Cordero

Martin Cordero

Riverdale High School; Riverdale, CA

Martin Cordero taught at Riverdale High School for nine years.  He taught mainstream Geometry and Algebra II, as well as Pre-Calculus and Calculus, which are not technically honors classes, but are considered classes for high achievers.  Although the classes are not formally AP Program courses, students have an option to take the AP exam upon completion.  He chaired the Mathematics Department at Riverdale since 1996.

Education is the defining tool in determining one’s future, in Mr. Cordero’s view, and he believed that it is the ultimate equalizer in order for students to compete and win.  Since his goal for his students was social mobility, Mr. Cordero took an interest in their lives, both inside and outside of the classroom.  He used multiple techniques to interest them and keep them motivated in their academic pursuits and to push them toward college.

To his students, as well as to many Riverdale students who were not in any of his classes, Mr. C. was known for his desire to help, to push, and to be there to talk to about school and non-school issues.   Mr. Cordero’s room was often populated with students during lunchtime.

Mr. Cordero was also very involved in other aspects of the school.  He was the advisor for Odyssey of the Mind, a creative, competitive academic program.  He was a member of the WASC committee in 1998 Compliance and was head of the Vision and Culture Movement. As advisor for the class of 2004, coaching them from their freshman year through graduation, he helped that class raise more money than any other class in Riverdale’s history, donating the money to the September 11 Red Cross Fund.  He started the varsity girls’ soccer team at Riverdale and was the Head Coach for six years.

Martin Cordero received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a Clear Single Subject Credential in Mathematics from Fresno Pacific College.  He was familiar with his students’ lives and backgrounds, having grown up and attended school in nearby Caruthers, California.  His favorite thing in the world is “when students who have graduated come back to chat about anything and everything after school.”

-Published 2004

Note:  Martin Cordero passed away.

Carlston Family Foundation is now Above & Beyond Teaching