Staff Spotlight: Mr. Drake and Windsurfing


Mr. Drake the 8th grade STEAM U.S History teacher at Dana Middle School is surrounded by his 5th period students.

Kelly Yoshimura, Editor-in-Chief

Mr. Drake, the 8th grade STEAM US History teacher, has traveled around the world, participated in sailing, windsurfing, and skiing, and taught history and PE for 18 years.

Although it is his first year teaching at Dana Middle School, Mr. Drake has had plenty of experience being a teacher and educating students. Having both a teaching credential from Chico State University, in PE and History, and graduating from UCSB as a history major, he showcases both his interest in athletics and in History. Along with being an accomplished educator, he is Nationally Board Certified, an advanced teaching credential that goes beyond states, meaning he could teach in any state.

“I’m an academic at heart, I love reading, writing, and speaking. In a history classroom, I can build future Americans that I can trust to preserve our experiment of democracy” explained Mr. Drake when asked which subject he preferred to teach.

Mr. Drake added, “The reason I decided to become a teacher is because I love history and I love kids, and I really thought the most powerful thing I could do as a career is to teach kids.”

Originally from Santa Monica up until middle school where he moved to Mammoth, Mr. Drake has enjoyed both the winter and snowing sports, and also the summer water sports. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Drake enjoys to sail, ski, and windsurf. Mr. Drake’s father, Jim Drake, invented windsurfing, contributing to his love of water sports, specifically windsurfing.

A father of two girls, one 14, and the other 11, he states, “I found it pretty fun to teach 8th graders while my own daughter is in 8th grade.”

Both of his daughters enjoy the same outdoor activities as their father, Mr. Drake even planning a sailing trip around the world with his entire family.

Before he became a teacher, Mr. Drake had an assortment of jobs. After graduating from Mammoth High School, Mr. Drake raced competitively in skiing. Later on, he decided on serving in the US Army for two years, attending UCSB shortly after his time in the military. Graduating with a masters in history, Mr. Drake became a ski and windsurfing coach, providing him opportunities to travel the world.

“I spent my springs and summers in the South Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, Hawaii, all across the USA, in addition to that, I’d come home every winter to Mammoth and coached skiing on the Mammoth Mountain Sports School… for almost a decade I’ve traveled as a professional sports coach.”

Choosing between the various places he’s traveled to, Hawaii is one of his favorite places he’s been to, Mr.Drake explains “Hawaii still remains to be one of the greatest places I’ve been to.”

Something Mr. Drake would like his students to know is “I still ride my skateboard everyday and my favorite tv show is Naked and Afraid, it’s survival with a twist.”

Albeit being his first year teaching at Dana, Mr. Drake has expressed, “I love San Pedro, I’ve been coming down here since I was a little kid, and I’ve always loved the community so I said to myself if something ever opened up in this area, I would love to pursue it. I love Dana, I love the kids, I love the staff, and the community. I’m hoping to stay here as long as I can.”

“I would say set goals and select goals that are achievable, whether it’s academic or social, and if you don’t have goals, it’s almost like you’re driving without a map,” Mr. Drake advises to his future students.