Mr. Rodriguez: Ready to Rock Gables


Courtesy of CavsTV

Besides dedicating himself to teaching, Mr. Rodriguez is a talented screenwriter and holds a master’s degree in film.

Isabel Donner, Staff Writer

With the closing of the 2020-2021 school year came the closing of former Catharsis advisor Ms. Zaldivar’s time at Coral Gables Senior High. However, new beginnings are on the horizon for Gables’ creative writing publication.

With Mr. Rodriguez joining the team as Catharsis’s new advisor and one of Gables’ English teachers, he plans to guide the publication whilst also spreading an appreciation for language to more Cavaliers.

Although Mr. Rodriguez is now entering his sixth year as a teacher, it was not his original career choice. Instead, Rodriguez had studied to be a screenwriter and holds a master’s degree in film from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He was encouraged by his wife, however, to take up a career as an educator and has since come to love his job in the classroom as he gets to witness his students’ creativity and biggest learning experiences.

“I enjoy listening to an infinite number of ideas shared and watching students experience an ‘A-ha’ moment,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez has described himself as a “very expressive and boisterous” type of teacher due to his background in theater. He puts effort into making sure his students are kept stimulated in the classroom by constantly prompting them to work together in group discussions and on presentations.

Before the pandemic, Rodriguez had worked at a magnet art school in High Point, North Carolina. Because he had wanted to continue working in a magnet environment, Rodriguez was attracted to Gables by its renown for having successful programs, such as the Communication Arts, Film and Digital Media academy which encompasses various award-winning publications. At Gables, he will be teaching Research Writing 1, four levels of Creative Writing and Theory of Knowledge.

It was interesting meeting him because even though everyone missed Ms. Zaldivar, he had a lot of very cool stories to share. He is a very talented screenwriter and anyone could tell that he is very passionate about the arts, writing and cinema in specific,

— sophomore Steffi Sarmiento-Mena

With the return to school in person, Mr. Rodriguez looks forward to assisting students in expressing themselves and thinking outside the box after a year so limited in interaction.

“What I’m looking forward to the most is helping students channel all the creativity and imagination that they’ve had bottled up for the last year and a half. I know it’s there,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

Because Catharsis did not have a production week this year, most of the Catharsis students’ first meeting with Mr. Rodriguez was Tuesday, the second day of school, when the team met during sixth period.

As for the future of Catharsis, he is fully aware of the publication’s prowess. He is sure the team will continue to produce top issues just as they have for the past two years.

“I am confident that they will put forth a quality issue like the ones I’ve been reading through from the past two years,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

While he has no plans to make major changes to the way the publication is run, Mr. Rodriguez will not be missing out on any opportunities to encourage his students to think outside the box or try something new.

Mr. Rodriguez, with his background in and dedication to cinema, is sure to be an inspiration to his students and other Cavaliers with an interest in the arts. His creativity and expertise in writing will certainly help Catharsis continue to grow and flourish in the years to come.